Top 5 Powerball Jackpots of All Time

There is no lottery like the US Powerball because no other game has jackpots like Powerball’s. Its prizes have made international headlines and they have raised the bar for lotteries everywhere. To visualize the sheer size of these prizes, we have made a list of the top 5 US Powerball jackpots that is bound to make quite the impression. Read on to find out the stories behind the biggest jackpots the world has ever seen!

1. $1.6 Billion - 2016

On January 13th, 2016, the US Powerball was on everybody’s mind because it had the biggest jackpot to ever be awarded by a lottery. To this day, it is one of the two times when a lotto prize has ever passed the $1 billion milestone (the other one being the Mega Millions record of $1.53 billion). Standing at $1.58 billion, this was a prize that drew players not only from the US but from all over the world. Millions and millions of people put in their tickets hoping to become billionaires overnight. All the players understood that the cost of a Powerball ticket is a small investment compared to the huge prizes it could bring!

After the highly anticipated draw, there were three winning tickets for the $1.58 billion prize from Florida, California, and Tennessee. Everybody wanted to know who would be living the dream, who actually got the legendary pot. The first claimants to come forward were Tennessee’s Lisa and John Robinson and they made a media event out of it.

They went live on the Today show to tell their amazing story right before going to the US Powerball officials to start the prize collection process. As it turns out, their ticket worth $528 million was a Quick Pick entry that John bought from the store on his way home. That’s all it took to win a Powerball fortune.

In spite of their media-centered debut, the Robinsons decided to stay private after that. They opted for the lump cash payment, which brought them over $300 million. At first, they said that they would continue working and that they would keep living in their 3-bedroom house in Munford. It took them about six months to reconsider and move into a $6.2 million 10-bedroom mansion with a private lake.

David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith

The next winners to come forward were David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith, a couple from Melbourne Beach, Florida. They collected their prize as the Nickel 95 Trust and opted for the $327.8 million lump cash payment. Just like the Robinsons, they bought the winning ticket from their local supermarket.

Their Powerball windfall came as a huge surprise and they didn’t even tell their family about it until they got in touch with an attorney for the prize collection process. Stunned by the opportunities this would open them to, David and Maureen decided to take their time with setting up a plan for how they would spend their money.

“It’s going to change my day-to-day life. Instead of designing airplanes, I’m going to be doing, you know, charities and tax strategies and investments,” said David Kaltschmidt.

The holders of the third winning ticket from January 2016 took their time with collecting their prize. It wasn’t until late July that Marvin and Mae Acosta came forward because they wanted to set up a solid legal and financial frame for their Powerball prize. Still within the allotted time for collecting their lottery prize, the Acostas went for the cash payout on their sizable win.

While their names were made public as per the lottery’s anonymity rules for winners, Marvin and Mae Acosta wanted other personal information about them to remain private. They said that they would use their Powerball jackpot to set up a trust and that most of the money would go to charity.

"We are thankful and blessed for the rare gift that has been placed in our care,'' said the Acostas in a statement.

2. 768.4 million - 2019

The first Jackpot of 2019, which was estimated at $750 million was scooped by a single player from Wisconsin: Manuel Franco. This player has been extremely lucky as ticket sales exceeded expectations and ended up giving a Jackpot of $768.4 million. It isn't often that we can say a Jackpot was recalculated to a bigger amount. It puts this win on the map of the biggest Powerball Jackpots ever won!

Manuel Franco

It may be on the second spot on our Powerball Jackpots list, but Manuel is the biggest solo Powerball winner of the World! All he had to do was to play the main numbers 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and the Powerball 12. He chose the lump sum payment of $477 million and we wish him all the luck in the World with his new wealth! 

Manuel decided not to reveal too much about himself, but he told the journalists that he left his job two days after realizing he won the Jackpot. He also added that his father cried when he heard the news, while his mum was confused at first. Manuel Franco was only 24 years old when he became a millionnaire while playing the lottery, but he was already playing since he was 18. He said he never believed someone like him could win, but, thankfully he was proven wrong. From that day, he decided not to play anymore. He will help his family, maybe travel a bit, but he won't waste it all. He put up a team of financial professionals to help him make the best choices with his wealth. He was ready, and his lawyer was confident that Manuel was down to Earth so that he is only living a better life since then. 

3. $768 million - 2019

The beginning of 2019 brought another remarkable Powerball jackpot. An amazing $768 million prize was up for grabs after a few months without a win. Eventually, in the 27th of March draw, a ticket purchased in Wisconsin matched all the 5 main numbers and the Powerball. This is a record-breaking jackpot, as it is the third largest first prize in the history of US lottery!

Not only that, but this is the second biggest Powerball win on a single ticket. Lottery officials confirmed that only one ticket matched all the winning numbers, making it another historic event for the popular American lottery. After the excitement of the rollovers and the amazing climbing jackpot, the world is now waiting for the ticket holder to step forward.

The lucky winner(s) can choose from two payment methods; the cash option of around $477 million, or an annuity of $768.4 paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments. Both amounts are calculated before taxes.

4. $758 Million - 2017

After the US Powerball set the world record for the largest lottery jackpot in 2016, America’s biggest lottery set yet another record in 2017. Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts had the sole winning ticket for a Powerball jackpot worth $758 million, which is the second biggest lottery win on a single ticket to this day.

Mavis’ story is the ultimate lottery fairytale. At the age of 53, she lived a happy quiet life with her two children. She had been working in patient care for 32 years and she did not foresee any major changes coming her way. That was until the day she beat the 1 in 292,201,338 odds of winning the Powerball and won $758 million.

With such a lottery fortune, there was little that Mavis could not do. The first decision she made was to quit her job at the Mercy Medical Center. “I called and told them I will not be coming back”, said Mavis. While most lottery winners indulge in high-end purchases and extravagant parties, Mavis just wanted to relax before merging towards the lottery-winner lifestyle.

“I had a pipe dream and my pipe dream has finally come true," said Mavis Wanczyk.

She also chose the lump payment for her Powerball jackpot, which was worth $480.5 million before taxes. Even after paying her dues to the state, Mavis was still left with an enormous fortune. After going public to collect her prize, her name was all over the news, but she has stayed out of the media’s eye ever since living her happily ever after.

5. $687.8 million - 2018

In October 2018 the US Powerball went on a rollover streak yet again. When the jackpot reached $687.8 million, everybody was dreaming of taking home the huge pot. Eventually, in the October 27th draw, two lucky lotto players; one from New York and one from Iowa; matched all main numbers and the Powerball and shared the jackpot.

  Lerynne West

The first winner to come forward was Lerynne West from Redfield, Iowa. She chose the lump sum payout method worth 198.1 million, which is a life-changing amount. She wants to share her amazing luck with her friends and family and help those in need. She established a foundation to honor Callum, her grandson who passed away as a new-born.

The second winner is 67-year-old Robert Bailey, from Manhattan, New York. The retired federal employee has been playing the lottery for 25 years using the same lucky numbers. Bailey bought his jackpot-winning ticket from a local deli in Harlem after getting in stay out of the rain.

 Robert Bailey

Mr. Bailey explained that he plans to take his time and enjoy his new-found fortune. He wants to buy a new house for his mother and invest his money smartly in order to provide for his family in the years to come. Additionally, he assured us that he will continue to play the lottery with his same lucky numbers!

Bonus: $590 Million – 2013

If you were wondering who held the world record for the biggest lottery win on a single ticket before Mavis Wanczyk and Manuel Franco, it was yet another US Powerball winner. Her name is Gloria MacKenzie and she won a whopping $590 million back in 2013. She was 84 at the time of the win and, in fact, her age played a big part in her lottery story.

 Gloria MacKenzie

As Mrs. MacKenzie was waiting to buy her Powerball ticket, the woman standing in front of her let her go first. She accepted and went on to purchase a Quick-Pick Powerball ticket, which ended up bringing her the Powerball jackpot. It was written in the stars for Gloria MacKenzie to win, and she went on to do some impressive things with the lottery money.

Half of the $281 million lump cash payout went to her son and then Gloria used her half to make the world a better place. Her first major donation was to the Schenck High School in East Millinocket, Maine, where she was a teacher before she retired and where her daughter currently teaches Science. She gave $2 million to the school for maintenance expenses.

This was only the start of her major contribution to education. She set up the Gloria MacKenzie Foundation, which offers grants for various education projects. This way, her windfall would be used to build new bridges and create new academic opportunities. She is the best proof that beating those shocking lottery winner statistics can be done when you have a big heart.

This is the US Powerball jackpot Hall of Fame, which features the largest wins in the entire history of the lottery. With its jaw-dropping prizes, Powerball has revolutionized the entire industry. Do you want a chance to win the world’s biggest lottery? Then you should know that you can buy tickets online and check the Powerball results to make sure you never miss a potential win. Indians can play Powerball legally on our platform and take part in America’s finest game.

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