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10 Biggest Lottery Prize Payouts of All-Time & Where They Were Sold

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Mega Millions logo displayed on a phone screen and Mega Millions website displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on June 14, 2022. (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

  • Friday, July 29, was a historic day for the lottery with the third-biggest payout ever.
  • Check out the biggest payouts ever in the United States.

Biggest Lottery Winnings Ever

Winner State Year Amount
1. Anonymous South Carolina 2018 $878M
2. FLL Wolverine Club Michigan 2021 $778M
3. Anonymous Illinois 2022 $747M
4. The Power Pack Maryland 2021 $547M
5. Scott Godfrey California 2017 $481M
6. Mavis Wancyzk Massachusetts 2017 $481M
7. Manuel Franco Wisconsin 2019 $477M
8. Richard Wahl New Jersey 2018 $378M
9. Gloria McKenzie Florida 2013 $371M
10. Anonymous New Hampshire 2018 $352M

On Friday, July 29, the Mega Millions hit for $1.28 billion with a single winner coming from an Illinois suburb. 

A winner bought a ticket at a gas station in Des Plaines, IL, with a lump-sum payout of $747 million. That made it the third-highest payout of all time in the lottery.

We compiled a list of the top lottery prizes, organized by highest lump sum, (which is almost always taken) and by largest prize to a single winning ticket.

1. $878 million, Anonymous, South Carolina, 2018

The ticket from a single winner of a $1.5-billion Mega Millions jackpot was bought at KC Mart in Simpsonville, S.C. The winner, who reserved her right not to come forward, told lottery officials that she allowed another customer to cut her in line before getting her ticket. The South Carolina lottery made a big deal about this, despite the fact that the quick pick she took was still randomly generated. The lump sum of $877.8 million resulted in a $61 million tax win for the state.

2. $778 million, FLL Wolverine Club, Michigan, 2021

The win from a $1.05-billion Mega Millions drawing came from a four-member lottery club who bought their ticket at a Kroger in Novi, Mich. The lump sum comes out to $776.6 million, but with state and federal taxes (24 percent federal, 4.25 percent state), the final net payment was actually $557 million.

3. $747 million, Anonymous, Illinois, 2022

It had been 29 draws since a winner was found, which pushed this total prize to $1.28 billion. The winning ticket was sold at a Speedway gas station, which was awarded a $500,000 prize for making the sale.

4. $547 million, The Power Pack, Maryland, 2021

This win, also coming from a group, came by taking the lump sum in a $731-million Powerball win. After federal and state taxes, the net to the group (whose number of participants was not disclosed) came out to $366.6 million. The ticket was sold at the Coney Market in Lonaconing, Md.

5. $496 million, Scott Godfrey, California, 2021

Godfrey took the lump some of $496 million on his prize in the $699.8-million drawing. Five tickets matched the five numbers, but only Godfrey’s — purchased at a Albertsons in Morro Bay, Calif., had the red Powerball. California does not collect state taxes on lottery prizes, but did receive $78 million that will go towards schools. California law compelled Godfrey to come forward.

6. $481 million, Mavis Wancyzk, Massachusetts, 2017

The 53-year-old Wanczyk was the single winner in a $758.7-million Powerball drawing. The first thing on her to do list was to call her boss at the hospital she worked at that she wouldn’t be coming back. The ultimate lottery dream! Her net payment after federal and local taxes, was estimated to be $356 million.

7. $477 million, Manuel Franco, Wisconsin, 2019

Franco is the youngest big winner of the bunch at only 24 years old. In perhaps the most entertaining press conference by a lottery winner yet, Franco said he left work and felt lucky, so he stopped at a Speedway gas station in New Berlin, Wis. “I felt so lucky that I saw the (security) camera and really wanted to wink at it.” Franco noted that his bank account was under $1,000. In 2021, the Better Business Bureau sent out a warning that people had been posing as Franco in text messages claiming that they won the right to get a piece of his money to try to scam them into giving up their bank information.

8. $378 million, Richard Wahl, New Jersey, 2018

Wahl, a 47-year-old production manager at a food service plant, opted for the lump sum by being the single winner of a $533-million Mega Millions jackpot. When he came forward, he said he thought his ticket was worth $1 million. Instead, it was worth $378 million. After state and local taxes, Wahl’s net win was believed to be around $175 million.

9. $371 million, Gloria McKenzie, Florida, 2013

The oldest prize on the list goes to the oldest winner on this list, 84-year-old Gloria McKenzie, who not surprisingly did not choose the 30-year payout option over the lump sum on a $590-million Powerball drawing. The biggest winner ever said she let someone cut her and then she won the lottery. Here, McKenzie said she was actually the one who cut at a Publix near Tampa. McKenzie took home about $278 million after taxes, but five years later she sued her son Scott, saying he and his investment manager took plenty of money from her and put it into bad investments. McKenzie passed away in Feb. 2021.

10. $352 million, Anonymous, New Hampshire, 2018

New Hampshire was a state where winners had to come forward. That was until 2018, when he winner of a $559.7-million Powerball took the lump sum of $352 million and sued to keep her name private. It went all the way up to the state Supreme Court and she prevailed.

Just Missed

$349 million, Peace of Mind Trust, Pennsylvania, 2021

This single-ticket win on the $516-million Mega Millions was split by five friends whose winning ticket came from a 7-Eleven in Middletown, Pa. After state and federal taxes, each of the five received a net of $50.8 million.

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