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.
United States 
All lottery winnings are subject to Federal taxes; many smaller jurisdictions also levy taxes. The IRS requires at least a 25% withholding of any gambling wins in excess of $5,000. However, the net for a major jackpot winner is often misleading. Winners often find themselves in a tax bracket much greater than 25%, often paying additional to the IRS when they file their returns.
All lump-sum prizes listed below are reported as the pre-tax amount, as this is the income the player earned and must report on their returns to be subject to taxation. Jackpot amounts are reported as the annuity payout.
For various reasons, an annuity jackpot can have a higher cash value than a larger annuity with a lower cash value, as can be seen below.
- List of U.S. jackpots of at least $300 million
- $656 million Mega Millions, won on 30 March 2012, split by three tickets: Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland. Cash payout $474 million.
- $590.5 million Powerball, won on 18 May 2013, in Florida, world record for largest single prize. Cash payout 370.9 Million.
- $587.5 million Powerball, won on 28 November 2012, two tickets: Arizona and Missouri: Cash payout $384.7 million; both amounts third-largest in American lottery history.
- $390 million Mega Millions, won on6 March 2007, two tickets: Georgia and New Jersey. Cash payout $233.1 million, fifth largest cash payout in American lottery history.
- $380 million Mega Millions, won on 4 January 2011, two tickets: Holly Lahti of Rathdrum, Idaho; and Jim and Carolyn McCullar of Ephrata, Washington. Cash payout $240 million; fourth largest cash payout in American lottery history.
- $365 million Powerball, won on 18 February 2006, in Nebraska. $177 million cash.
- $363 million The Big Game (precursor of Mega Millions), won on 9 May 2000, two tickets: Illinois and Michigan.
- $340 million Powerball, won on 19 October 2005, in Oregon. Cash payout, $164.4 million, was split by two related families
- $338 million Powerball, won on 23 March 2013, in New Jersey; Pedro Quezada, from Paterson, New Jersey, won $152 million.
- $337 million Powerball, won on 15 August 2012, in Michigan. Cash payout $223.7 million.
- $336.4 million Powerball, won on 11 February 2012, Rhode Island. Cash: $210 million.
- $333 million Mega Millions, 28 August 2009, two tickets: California and New York.
- $331 million The Big Game, 16 April 2002, three tickets: Georgia, Illinois, and New Jersey.
- $330 million Mega Millions, 31 August 2007 four tickets: New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia.
- $319 million Mega Millions, 25 March 2011, New York.
- $315 million Mega Millions, 15 November 2005, in Anaheim, California. Cash payout, $175 million, was chosen by a group called "The Lucky 7".
- $314.9 million Powerball, won on 25 December 2002, by Jack Whittaker of West Virginia, who chose the cash payout of $170,505,876.
- $314.3 million Powerball, won on 25 August 2007, in Indiana. Cash: $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.
- Examples of largest jackpots in specific European lotteries
- £161.7 million (US$260 million) was the largest jackpot and single-ticket jackpot in the pan-European EuroMillions, won on 12 July 2011 in the UK.
- €147.8 million (US$205 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot in Italy's SuperEnalotto lottery, won on 22 August 2009 in Bagnone (Toscana).
- €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.
- £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.
- €30 million (US$31 million) was the largest jackpot in France's SuperLoto, won in May 2006 by two tickets.
- €30 million (US$31 million) is the annual jackpot in the Dutch New Year's Eve draw of the Staatsloterij (State Lottery). Its normal draws during the rest of the year can have a maximum jackpot of €27.5 million.[clarification needed]
- €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.
- €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.
- €12.2 million (US$15.7 million) was the largest jackpot in Finland's Lotto of Veikkaus, won in October 2012 by one ticket.
- €10 million (US$15 million) was the largest jackpot in Belgium's Loterie Nationale/Nationale Loterij, won in February 2008 by ten tickets.
- €7 million (US$9 million) was the largest single-ticket jackpot in the Belgian Loterie Nationale/Nationale Loterij, won in October 2006.
- "Home". Powerball. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "Press Release". Powerball. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "Mega Millions Official Home". Megamillions.com. 2005-11-18. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- "Press Release". Powerball. 2002-12-26. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- Scott, Kirsty (July 15, 2011). "EuroMillions jackpot win makes couple richer than Ringo". The Guardian (London).
- Svenska Spel har inte fått tag på storvinnaren
- Gold strike for quarry team - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie