United States Lotteries
The United states has got some of the biggest lotteries known to man and punters from all corners of the planet want to get in on the action. And no one can really blame them. We’ve seen gargantuan jackpots from the biggest lotteries in the United States, with the Powerball reaching record breaking heights, at $1.58 billion. The list below includes the most popular United States lotteries and all the information you need to get your hands on lottery tickets.
Powerball has been around for over 27 years and is by far the largest lottery that ever existed. The Powerball is drawn twice a week, on a Wednesday and on Saturday and each ticket costs $2 but for an extra dollar, the Power Play® feature can multiply non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times. Players will need to pick five numbers from 1 to 69 to cover the white balls and one number from 1 to 26 to cover the red Powerball.
The Powerball jackpot starts at $40 million and keeps growing as more players enter the draw. If the lottery is not won, the jackpot prize gets rolled over to the next draw. The jackpot grows exponentially from draw to draw due to the voluminous number of participants.
Biggest Powerball Jackpot Ever Won
The biggest jackpot stood at $1.56 billion and it was won by three players back in 2016. Lottery winners have the option to receive their winnings as a lump sum or have it in the form of an annuity. The amount of tax jackpot winners need to pay is pretty ridiculous, ranging from 24% to 37%, but when you’re dealing with hundreds of millions that just fell into your lap, you won’t be too concerned in seeing them go.
The name says it all. Mega millions is a well known across the world for its huge jackpot prizes. Mega Millions starts at $40 million and grows by a minimum of $5 million with each draw. Each ticket costs $2 and punters will need to pick five numbers ranging from 1 to 70 and one gold ball number, which range from 1 to 25.
Just like the Powerball, players have the option to multiply their non-jackpot winnings for an extra $1. Mega Millions is drawn twice a week; on Tuesdays and Fridays and jackpot winners have the option to take their money as a lump sum or have a yearly payout over a number of years.
Biggest Mega Millions Jackpot Ever Won
The biggest Mega Millions jackpot prize ever recorded stands at $1.437 billion and the winner took his time to claim his winnings, with just over a month before the deadline. The winner decided to stay anonymous and cashed in on a one time payment of almost $878 million before taxes.
Each individual European country has its own national lottery, as is the case in the United States with their state lotteries, but across the pond, Europeans have the equivalent of the Powerball and Mega Millions, sporting jackpot prizes that can be enjoyed for generations. The following lotteries are some of the biggest ones available to play, their record breaking jackpots and ways how to get your hands on tickets.
The Euromillions lottery is played across nine countries and has a minimum guaranteed jackpot of €17 million but has seen rollovers increase to a staggering €190 million. The draw is held every Tuesday and Friday, with each ticket costing €2.50 Players will need to select five numbers, ranging from 1 to 50 and an additional two lucky star numbers within 1 and 12. In 2016, the range of lucky stars numbers increased by one, decreasing the jackpot winning odds from 1:117million to 1:140million.
Just like in any other lottery, players can either pick their own numbers or use the ‘Lucky Dip’ feature, which uses a RNG (random number generator) to select your numbers.
The beauty of the Euromillions jackpot is that it tax free, except for Switzerland, Spain and Portugal and is paid as a lump sum.
Every couple of months, the Euromillion holds a superdraw which is essentially a mammoth of a jackpot which goes beyond a hundred million euros. The mechanics of the superdraw are the same as the standard Euromillions draw and there has 13 prize tiers. The funds for the superdraw comes from a Booster Funds, which takes 4.8% of the prize fund from every regular draw.
Biggest EuroMillions Jackpot Ever Won
Back in 2012, one lucky couple walked away with €190 million and if you’re unsure of whether to pick random numbers, think again, because the Suffolk couple cashed in on the nine-figure amount from a ‘Lucky Dip’ ticket. It’s always a battle against the odds, but if you don’t take a ticket, you can’t win the raffle.
The SuperEnalotto has been around for over two decades and this Italian lottery has its jackpot prizes that run well into the tens of millions. Participants will need to pick six numbers between 1 and 90 and has a minimum starting jackpot of €1.3 million. The draw is held three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and each ticket only costs €1.
The SuperStar feature is an extra number that is drawn from a separate machine but still has the same range of numbers. It costs an additional €0.50 per entry, but gives punters more chances to win and increases payouts. An additional €2 million is awarded if all six numbers and the additional number match, known as the SuperBonus.
Biggest SuperEnalotto Jackpot Ever Won
The biggest SuperEnalotto jackpot that’s ever been won came back in 2010 and was won by a syndicate (more on this later) of 70 players on a ticket bought in Milan. However, the largest individual win ever recorded happened in 2016, where one lucky punter overcame the odds to take home a breathtaking €163.5 million. The man from Vibo Valentia also truck the SuperBonus, which rewarded him with an additional €2 million. The odds for that happening stood at 1 in 56 billion. How’s that for lucky?
The EuroJackpot is recent lottery, only having been around since 2012 but it quickly gained popularity across Europe for its massive jackpot prizes. The jackpot has a minimum guaranteed prize of €10 million and players will need to pick 5 numbers between 1 and 50 and two bonus numbers (Euro Numbers) from 1 to 10. The draw is held every Friday and the beauty of the EuroJackpot is that there can only be one winner, so if you hit the nail on its head, you know you’ll be taking home all the gold. The price of each ticket is set at €2 and there are a total of 12 payouts, which can range from hundreds of thousands even sometimes even run into the millions.
Biggest EuroJackpot Jackpot Ever Won
One fortuitous player from the Czech Republic cashed in on €90 million and since there are no winnings on taxes in the country, the player will receive the full amount in one lump sum within 60 days of presenting the winning ticket. The ticket winner defeated odds of 1:95 million. Not too shabby for a measly €2 investment.
‘El Gordo’ Spanish Christmas Lottery
‘El Gordo’ is considered the biggest lottery in the world with a top prize reaching an unbelievable €2.13 billion. The draw takes place on the 22nd of December and each ticket costs €20. In 2017, 165 million tickets were sold which created a prize pool of €2.31 billion, with a top prize of €720 million.
Playing ‘El Gordo’ is simple. All participants need to do is pick five numbers from 1 to 54 and a number off the second grid, ranging from 1 to 9. The ticket is printed multiple times to be able to overcome the 100,000 limitation that the system imposes, but to counteract this, tickets come in series. Even though there might be many matching numbers, to win the top jackpot prize, the ticket must also fall in the right series.
Woman With a PhD in Statistics Wins Lottery Four Times
Luck has nothing to do with Joan R. Ginthers’ winnings, as the 63 year old from Texas cashed in on a total of $20.4 million dollars over a decade. Experts calculated the odds of this happening and concluded that it can only happen once in eighteen septillion and that sort of luck could only come once every quadrillion years. That’s 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
To put things into perspective, you’re more likely to win an Olympic gold medal, have identical quintuplets, or get crushed by a vending machine.
The Biggest Lottery Jackpot Ever Won
The biggest jackpot ever recorded came from the Powerball but there were three winners, which all had the option of taking home $533 million before taxes as an annuity or $327.8 million as a lump-sum payment.
But the biggest individual jackpot prize ever also was through the Powerball, where Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts defeated the odds to trigger the $758.7 top prize. The Massachusetts woman worked at the Mercy Medical Center for 32 years, but wasted no time picking up the phone to tell her employer that she will never be returning to work again.
She opted for the lump-sum, which amounted to $480.5 million.
What is a Syndicate?
A syndicate is when a group of people purchase lottery tickets together with the aim of increasing their winning chances. Needless to say, syndicates tickets will also see winnings being shared between the participants. When a winning lottery ticket is a syndicate, the jackpot prize is paid to the group's manager, as there can only be one person claiming the ticket. It is then up to the syndicate manager to distribute the winnings to the members.
The biggest lottery syndicate win ever recorded was triggered back in 2012 on the Mega Millions. Three people covered 60 lines of the Mega Millions for a total of $60 and what seemed to be a far fetched dream became a reality, cashing in on a jackpot of $218 million. The jackpot stood at a colossal $656 million, but since there were other winners from that draw, the trio were forced to share the jackpot prize with two other winners.
Syndicates are popular amongst work colleagues, family members and friends because they don’t only increase the chances of winnings due to the huge number of lines covered, but also because the syndicate members can discuss what they’ll do with the winnings if lady luck had to be on their side on the day.