Lottery jackpot records

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Lottery jackpot records have always attracted the attention of lottery analysts and players.

It is generally considered that Spain's Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad (Spanish Christmas Lottery) is the world's largest lottery and has the largest first prize jackpot. In 2012, the main jackpot was €720 million (US$941.8 million). The total prize pool in 2012 was €2.52 billion (US$3.297 billion). (Using a 13 December 2012 exchange of €1 = US$1.308.)

The tickets for this lottery have pre-printed 5-digit numbers, with each set of numbers sold multiple times in several so-called series. For example, a ticket with the number "00001" was printed 180 times under different series numbers. This results in the jackpot always being split across multiple winners. The 2011 main jackpot of €720 million was paid out as €4 million (US$5.2 million) to each of the 180 tickets with the number 58268.[1]

United States[edit]

All lottery winnings are subject to Federal taxation (automatically reported to the Internal Revenue Service if the win is at least $600); many smaller jurisdictions also levy taxes. The IRS requires a minimum withholding of 25% of the prize (minus the wager) of any gambling win in excess of $5,000. However, the net for a major jackpot winner often is misleading; winners often pay additional to the IRS when they file their returns. U.S. lotto winners[2] are taxed at the highest percentage; any winnings above $600.00 are taxed at 30%.

All lump-sum prizes listed below are reported as the pre-withholdings amount, as this is income the player "earned" and must report on their returns to be subject to taxation. Jackpot amounts are reported as the advertised annuity.

For various reasons, an annuity jackpot can have a higher cash value than a larger annuity with a lower cash value. Examples include the annuity structure of various games: while Mega Millions' and Powerball's annuity option each are 30 annual payments, Mega Millions' annuity payments increase 5 percent yearly, while Powerball's increase 4 percent yearly; this makes the Mega Millions' annuity structure slightly more "inflated".

List of U.S. jackpots of at least $300 million annuity value
Rank Jackpot Game Date # of winning tickets Where sold Notes
1 $656 million Mega Millions 30 March 2012 3 KS, IL, MD Largest cash payout in world history; $474 million.
2 $648 million Mega Millions 17 December 2013 2 CA, GA Cash value $347.6 million
3 $590.5 million Powerball 18 May 2013 1 FL Gloria MacKenzie of Zephyrhills. World record for lottery prize; 4th largest cash value ($370.9 million)
4 $587.5 million Powerball 28 November 2012 2 AZ, MO Cash value $384.7 million, 2nd largest in US lottery history
5 $564.1 million Powerball 11 Feb 2015 3 NC, PR, TX, Largest jackpot since 2013. Thirty-six other $1 million + winners for $381 millions cash value (3rd largest cash value).[3]
6 $448 million Powerball 7 August 2013 3 MN; NJ(2) Cash payout $258 million; 4th in US lottery history.
7 $425.3 million Powerball 19 February 2014 1 CA Cash value $242.2 million
8 $414 million Mega Millions 18 March 2014 2 FL, MD Cash value $230.9 million
9 $399.4 million Powerball 18 September 2013 1 SC Cash value $223 million. Winner remained anonymous under SCEL regulations; also not released was whether the winner chose cash or annuity.
10 $390 million Mega Millions 6 March 2007 2 GA, NJ Cash jackpot $233.1 million; 7th in US lottery history
11 $380 million Mega Millions 4 January 2011 2 ID, WA Cash payout $240 million; 6th among US lotteries
12 $365 million Powerball 18 February 2006 1 NE $177 million cash; 8th among US lotteries
13 $363 million The Big Game 9 May 2000 2 IL, MI The Big Game became Mega Millions two years later
14 $340 million Powerball 19 October 2005 1 OR[4] $164 million cash split by 2 families[5]
15 $338 million Powerball 23 March 2013 1 NJ $152 million cash
16 $337 million Powerball 15 August 2012 1 MI Cash option chosen; $223.7 million
17 $336 million Powerball 11 February 2012 1 RI Cash: $210 million
18 $333 million Mega Millions 28 August 2009 2 CA, NY
19 $331 million The Big Game 16 April 2002 3 GA, IL, NJ The Big Game became Mega Millions one month later
20 $330 million Mega Millions 31 August 2007 4 NJ, MD, TX, VA
21 $326 million Mega Millions 4 November 2014 1 NY Middletown (Orange County)
22 $319 million Mega Millions 25 March 2011 1 NY
23 $315 million Mega Millions 15 November 2005 1 CA Cash payout of $175 million chosen by a group called "The Lucky 7."[6]
24 $314.9 million Powerball 25 December 2002 1 WV Cash payout of $170,505,876. Winner: Jack Whittaker[7]
25 $314.3 million Powerball 25 August 2007 1 IN Cash payout: $146,985,099


Unlike in the United States, where lottery wins are taxed, European jackpots are generally tax-free (the lotteries themselves are taxed in other ways) and jackpots are paid in a lump sum. For example, in the United Kingdom's National Lottery, wagers are split between the game operator Camelot Group and the government, with Camelot distributing some of the money for prizes, some for operating costs, a small amount (about 0.5 penny of each ₤1) for profit, some into their 'good causes' programme, with the remainder going to the government as tax; VAT however, is not due.[8]

Examples of largest jackpots in specific European lotteries
  • £161.7 million (EUR185 million/US$260 million) was the largest jackpot and single-ticket jackpot in the pan-European EuroMillions in GBP currency, won on 12 July 2011 in the UK.[9]
  • €190 million (£148.7 million/US$234 million) was the largest jackpot and single-ticket jackpot in the pan-European EuroMillions in EUR currency, won on 10 August 2012 in the UK. On 24 October 2014 it happened again: €190 million (£149.8 million/US$240.7 million) was won by a single-ticket in Portugal.
  • €61.2 million (£48.8 million/US$79.2 million) was the largest jackpot and single-ticket jackpot in the pan-European Eurojackpot, won on 12 September 2014 in Finland.
  • €45.4 million (US$67 million) was the largest jackpot in Germany's Lotto 6 aus 49, won in December 2007 by three tickets.
  • €37.7 million (US$48 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot in the German Lotto 6 aus 49, won on 7 October 2006.
  • SEK 238 million (US$38 million) is the largest single ticket jackpot of Svenska Spel Lotto Drömvinsten
  • £42 million (US$65 million) was the largest jackpot in the United Kingdom's Lotto, won on 6 January 1996 by three tickets.
  • £22.6 million (US$36 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot won on the UK Lotto game in June 1995 on a ticket purchased by Paul Maddison, from Hastings, East Sussex, and friend Mark Gardiner.
  • €38.4 million (US$49.7 million) was the largest jackpot in the Netherlands draw of the Staatsloterij (State Lottery).in May 2013.
  • €30 million (US$31 million) was the largest jackpot in France's SuperLoto, won in May 2006 by two tickets.
  • €24 million (US$35 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot in the French SuperLotto, won on 6 June 2011.
  • SEK 215 million (€22 million, US$30 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot in Sweden's Lotto of Svenska Spel, won on 27 March 2010.[10]
  • €19 million (US$30 million) was the largest jackpot and largest single-ticket jackpot in Ireland's Lotto, won on 28 June 2008 by a group of sixteen work colleagues at a quarry and concrete plant in County Carlow.[11]
  • €12.2 million (US$15.7 million) was the largest jackpot in Finland's Lotto of Veikkaus, won in October 2012 by one ticket.
  • €13 million (US$17.9 million) was the largest jackpot in Belgium's Loterie Nationale/Nationale Loterij, won in December 2013 by one ticket.