With its incredible jackpots, the US Powerball lottery is setting the bar very high. The Powerball currently holds the world record for the biggest jackpot ever awarded: USD 1.6 Billion!!! Meet the lucky players that are now the biggest Powerball winners right here and maybe you will be tempted to try your luck and play US Powerball.
1. USD 1.586 Billion – 2016
Without a doubt, 2016 was a good year, or shall we say, great year for the Powerball lottery. After countless draws without a winner, the Powerball 1st prize ended up exceeding USD 1 Billion! It was the first time ever that any lottery offered a jackpot that size!
Everyone dreamt of catching that amazing jackpot! In fact, “Powerball” became the most searched word on Google in 2016, as everyone hoped they could become a billionaire overnight.
On January 13, 2016, three winning tickets were announced for the Powerball jackpot of an estimated value of USD 1,600,000,000. Each of these Powerball winners received a third of the most fantastic lottery prize in the world! It made them all multimillionaires! All three Powerball winners chose the lump sum payment of their USD 327.8 Million share. Meet who they are below:
Lisa & John Robinson
Lisa and John Robinson are from Tennessee. These lucky Powerball winners were so happy with their victory that they appeared on the Today Show before they even started the prize-collecting process.
They told the press that they wanted to continue working, and also wanted to keep their apartment. Lisa even went on stating that “a big house is fine, but it does require a lot of cleaning”.
They changed their mind after only 6 months, and allowed themselves a large 10 room villa with a private lake. Let’s say we can’t blame them.
The Robinsons opted for the lump sum payment and thus scooped USD 327.8 Million. They said they don’t know what tomorrow is made of, this is why they preferred this option. They both wanted to try to keep their lives as normal as possible, and kept working at first.
Maureen Smith & David Kaltschmidt
A little later, David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith of Melbourne Beach in Florida, made themselves known. They chose to recover their Powerball prize via a trust with the name “Nickel95 Trust”.
They debated at length whether to remain anonymous or not, and ended up agreeing that they did not want to live a lie. It is honorable and courageous of them.
Maureen became a Powerball winner when she was 70 years old, making her one of the oldest Powerball winners. Her pleasant character and permanent smile have made her a newspapers darling.
This beautiful couple has decided to keep it simple and to continue living just as before, or almost. They got a new house and two cars (including a Tesla), but continue to shop at the same local supermarket. Well done !
Marvin & Mae Acosta
It wasn’t until July 2016 that Marvin and Mae Acosta came forward. It had been over six months since the draw had taken place, and rumors were rife. Some wondered if the winning ticket hadn’t been lost… That would have been a shame!
Truth be told, the Acostas wanted their personal informations, apart from their names of course, to remain secret and thus set up a trust. Still, they have made it known that a large chunk of their earnings would go to charity funds.
2. USD 768.4 Million – Manuel Franco – 2019
Manuel Franco is the biggest individual Powerball winner of all times!
This young man of Mexican descent won his top prize of USD 768 Million by playing the numbers 16-20-37-44-62/12.
Manuel Franco was only 24 years old when he scooped this amazing Powerball jackpot making him one of Powerball’s youngest winners! However, he was mature enough and thought about how to help his family and make sure he will be set for life. Still, he also wanted to take the opportunity to travel and he did quit his job two days only after learning he had won the second biggest jackpot in Powerball history.
He said that he didn’t really believe he could win before actually winning, and that he won’t play anymore now that he has won.
3. USD 758 Million – Mavis Wanczyk – 2017
2017 also saw its share of extraordinary wins, but after more than two months without a winner the jackpot reached an incredible $ 758 Million. Tickets sold like hot cakes all over the world and among the hundreds of millions of players, 9.3 Million people won a Powerball prize!
The famous American Lotto jackpot was scooped by Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts. At 53, she was the only holder of a winning ticket in this draw.
She had been caring for the sick for 32 years, and honestly didn’t expect big changes in her life at that point. Truth be told, she had a chance in 292 201 338 of becoming a Powerball winner.
With USD 480.5 Million in her pocket, after choosing the lump sum option, Mavis quit her job and chose to take a vacation to start off.
4. USD 731.1 Million – Anonymous – 2021
The year 2021 started in a grand way for the US lottery. Powerball and Mega Millions both offered jackpots exceeding USD 700 Million. It is the first time in history that this has happened.
This jackpot also happens to be the largest jackpot ever scooped in Maryland. The syndicate winners of this amazing prize have chosen to remain anonymous.
They still declared that they wanted to help their community prosper and wanted to take care of their families. These lucky Mega Millions winners came forward after almost 4 months, to collect their winnings.
5.USD 699.8 Million – 2021
On October 4, 2021, a single Powerball ticket contained the winning numbers for the draw: 12-22-54-66-69 and the 25 for the Powerball. The winner is Scott Godfrey, from California.
He not only joined the top Powerball winners of all times (in 5th position) but also becomes the 7th biggest winner of an American lottery jackpot! He is the biggest California lottery winner of all times as well. This is one lucky player!
Scott Godfrey, the lucky winner of this large jackpot, chose the Cash option which brought the tidy sum of $496 Million (before taxes, or $377 Million after federal taxes).
“The California Lottery’s sole mission is to raise additional funds for California’s public education programs…it’s especially nice when they [the winners] recognize the importance of what we do. I’m proud that the Lottery has given schools over USD 39 Billion since we launched the very first games in 1985 in California” said Alva V. Johnson, director of the California Lottery.
This is Scott’s case who was delighted that his ticket has brought in just over USD 78 Million for education in California. That is not all: this jackpot also brought in USD 1 Million to the seller of the famous winning ticket!
This lucky private player said he wished to continue living privately with his family.
6. USD 687.8 Million – 2018
The Powerball jackpot worth USD 687.8 Million awarded in 2018 made two new Powerball winners. Indeed, there were 2 winning tickets. One of these lucky Powerball winners was from New York while the other one was from Iowa. To scoop this Powerball jackpot you only had to choose the numbers 08-12-13-19-27 and the additional Powerball 4.
Lerynne West, from Iowa is a mother of 3 . She had just moved to Clive when she bought her US Powerball ticket.
Lerynne almost lost her winning ticket. She bought her Powerball ticket at the local tobacco shop and then spent the afternoon with her sister.
Shortly after the Powerball winners were announced, she realized that she had purchased her lottery ticket at the place where the winning one came from. Only, she could no longer find the said ticket. Fortunately, her sister found it in the car.
This USD 687.8 Million Powerball jackpot was truelly life changing for her. She was planning to take the opportunity to buy a bigger car for her large family and afford some vacations, before using the rest of her Powerball jackpot to “make the world a better place”. Thanks to the association “Callum” she created, she will do just that! It will work for children, animals and war veterans. We wish her the best of luck with her ambitious projects!
A player by the name Robert Bailey, from Harlem, took the other half of the nearly USD 700 Million Powerball jackpot. This 67-year-old former federal employee, has been playing the lotto for 25 years, always using the same numbers. He said he was usually getting his Powerball tickets in 4 different shops, but that day it was raining, and he found himself buying them in a different place.
He said he’s very happy with his win, but he also declared he wanted to take his time before deciding what to do with the money. He added he wanted to take some vacation to start off.
Besides, he wanted to buy his mother a new house and make some small investments as to be able to take care of his family. In addition, Robert said he wanted to continue playing while using the same numbers that brought him luck!
7. USD 632.2 Million – 2022
On January 5, 2022, as the US Powerball jackpot had reached USD 632.6 Million, the draw saw two winning tickets.
Not only can these players enjoy having won an amazing prize but they can also boast having scooped one of the 10 biggest Powerball jackpots of all time!
The winning tickets were purchased in California and in Wisconsin. Even though these lucky winners both won half of USD 632.6 Million, or USD 316.3 Million, be aware that Powerball taxes are influenced by the state where the winning ticket is purchased. This means that these 2 winners will not both get the exact same amount after tax deduction.
So far these big Powerball winners have not come forward to collect their winnings.
8. USD 590 Million – Gloria Mackenzie – 2013
Before Mavis Wanczyk became the number 2 Powerball winner by winning the handsome sum of USD 758 Million, it was Gloria Mackenzie who could boast of being the biggest solo winner of the Powerball jackpot. She scooped no less than USD 590 Million!
Gloria had made a pact with her son, Scott MacKenzie, that they both had to share any lottery wins they could get. It was Ms. MacKenzie herself who bought the winning ticket at a grocery store in Publix. So it looks like she was inspired to pick the lucky Powerball numbers that day.
Gloria was 84 when she won the US jackpot in 2013. She created the Mackenzie Foundation to provide scholarships for various educational projects.
9. USD 587.5 Million – 2012
This USD 587.5 Million jackpot was won on November 28, 2012 by two lucky players from Arizona and Missouri.
Matthew Good, from Phoenix, bought his lottery ticket in a local supermarket. In the end, he chose to receive his share as a lump payment and therefore received USD 192 Million .
The other half of the USD 587.5 Million Powerball jackpot was scooped by Cindy and Mark Hill from Missouri. This lovely couple has three boys and a 6 year old girl they adopted in China. The whole family happily attended the press conference, delighted with this unexpected luck. Happy Powerball winners!
10. USD 564 Million – 2015
There were three jackpot winners of the USD 564 Million jackpot scooped on July 11, 2015. The happy owners of the winning tickets that shared this incredible price were from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas. Each of them has obtained an equal share of USD 188 Million. Ever wondered if you can play Powerball from abroad?! Well one of these winners won by playing from Puerto Rico!
Little is known about two of these Powerball winners as they chose to remain as anonymous as possible. However, a third of this jackpot went to Marie Holmes, from North Carolina.
Mom of three children, she was struggling to meet ends before becoming one of Powerball’s biggest winners. No need to say that her financial problems disappeared overnight. Sadly, she helped her companion getting out of jail a couple of times and ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars. The last we heard of her, she was trying to take a fresh start…
11. USD 559,7 Million – 2018
After many rollovers, the USD 559.7 Million jackpot was scooped by a player from New Hampshire on January 6,2018. The numbers that made a Powerball winner out of this player were 12, 29, 30, 33, 61/ 26.
It wass the 11th time the state of New Hampshire saw a Powerball winner. This jackpot of USD 559.7 Million was scooped by a single ticket.
The state of New Hampshire does not allow players to remain anonymous, but the young winner went to trial in order to be able to remain anonymous. She declared that she was not aware that she could not stay anonymous when she bought her ticket.
The Jane Doe case ended up at the Supreme Court and she was allowed to recover her Powerball jackpot anonymously. As soon as the transfer was done, she began making donations to various charities.
Are there Powerball winners who scooped prizes playing online?
Yes, thankfully, there are players who became Powerball winners by participating online. We have the example on theLotter, with a 73-year old man from El Salvador who scooped USD 1 Million at the US Powerball. He isn’t the only one, there are winners from all corners of the Earth including in Canada, Europe or Australia.
Powerball winners FAQ
The biggest single Powerball winner is Manuel Franco, a young Mexican man who scooped USD 768 Million on March 27, 2019. The biggest Powerball jackpot ever (USD 1.58 Billion) was split between 3 winning tickets.
The biggest US Powerball jackpot ever offered was of USD 1.58 Billion. It was won on January 13, 2016 by three winning tickets. It is also the world-record of the biggest jackpot ever awarded in lottery history!
Our guess would be that the luckiest US Powerball winner is Manuel Franco as he scooped the biggest Powerball jackpot ever awarded to a single ticket. However, every Powerball winner on this list is definitely extremely lucky!
That is true! No lottery has yet achieved a jackpot as big as Powerball’s biggest jackpot ever awarded: USD 1.58 Billion!