The Complete Guide to the Biggest Lottery Prize Winners in History

Ever wonder where the biggest lottery winners are now? In this lottery guide, learn everything you want to know about the biggest lottery winners in history.

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Adam Moelis
Dec 15, 2021
4 min read

Lots of people have won the lottery over the years. And, some people really make it big. This is especially true if you live in California or Indiana, which are home to 41 of the biggest jackpot wins.

But, who has taken home the biggest wins after buying a ticket? Read on to learn about the biggest lottery winners in history.

2016 Powerball Payoff

The world's biggest lottery win came from a Powerball drawing on January 13th, 2016. The total amount of the win was 1.586 billion dollars. This win was split between three different tickets, with winners located in Florida, California, and Tennessee. Each ticket was owned by a different couple.

John and Lisa Robinson, the Tennessee couple, came from Munford. Their lump sum payout amounted to approximately 327.8 million dollars. Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt were the couple from Florida, where they reside in Melbourne Beach. They also took the lump sum and set up a trust in order to manage their newfound riches.

The California couple involved in this win were Mae and Marvin Acosta, who live in Chino Hills. They planned to donate most of their winnings to various charities.

Mavis Wanczyk

This 53-year-old medical worker won Powerball on August 23, 2017. The total jackpot was 758.7 million dollars. Wanczyk took a lump sum and immediately quit her job. Wanczyk is a resident of Chicopee, Massachusetts. She's one of the biggest single lottery winners of all time.

However, like many lottery winners, Wanczyk's name has been used to scam people out of money online. The scam involving Wanzyk mostly involve text messages claiming she's giving out money in exchange for personal details. Wanczyk is not affiliated with the scam.

Powerball drawings happen regularly, so if you want to join the ranks of the winners, make sure you start buying tickets and watch out for when the winners are announced.

Gloria MacKenzie

Gloria MacKenzie is yet another Powerball winner. She hit the jackpot with a win of 590.5 million dollars. Mackenzie was eighty-four years old when she won, on May 18, 2013. MacKenzie divided her winnings between herself and her son since her son purchased the ticket for her.

MacKenzie also allocated some of her winnings for her other children and purchased a five-bedroom home in Zephyrhills, Florida. However, the story doesn't end all that happily.

In 2019, MacKenzie sued both her son and their investment manager for wasting their winnings and investing the money poorly. The lawsuit is still pending as of 2021.

Robert Bailey and Lerynne West

On October 27th, 2018, Robert Bailey and Lerynne West won Powerball. The total Powerball jackpot amount was 687.8 million dollars. These winners each had separate tickets, so the winnings were divided winnings.

Robert Bailey, a retired USPS worker who was then 67 years old, had been using the same lottery numbers for twenty-five years. Bailey lives in New York City. Bailey planned to give money to help support Manhattan and aimed to buy his mother her own home.

Lerynne West, who was fifty-one years old at the time of her win, resides in Redfield, Iowa. She was a single mother of three children at the time of her win. West planned to give large amounts to support veterans and additionally planned to start her own foundation. She also got to celebrate her win on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Manuel Franco

When Manuel Franco won the Powerball jackpot on March 27, 2019, he was just twenty-four years old. The jackpot was 768.4 million dollars. At the time, Franco said he wasn't sure what he'd do with the money, but the West Allis, Wisconsin resident, planned to use it as wisely as possible.

At the time of his win, Franco worked at a local Target. Franco currently keeps his whereabouts private since his name has also been used to scam people out of money.

The Wolverine FLL Club

Sometimes, people form clubs to buy lottery tickets. That's what happened when the Wolverine FLL Club won a 1.05 billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot in January of 2021. The club, based in Oakland County, Michigan, took the lump sum so they could divide the winnings amongst its members.

The four club members are thought to include three members of the same family, but they have yet to come out publicly. Their lawyer indicated that much of the money would be put towards education and related causes.

Ira Curry and Steve Tran

The December 17, 2013, Mega Millions drawing resulted in two winners, Ira Curry and Steve Tran. The total jackpot amounted to 648 million dollars. At the time of the win, this was the second-largest jackpot in American history. Both Curry and Tran took the lump sum for their winnings.

Steve Tran, from California, was actually on vacation during the drawing and didn't realize he'd won 324 million dollars for nearly two weeks. Tran purchased the ticket in San Jose. Tran quit his job as a delivery driver upon realizing he'd hit the jackpot. Tran planned to go on another vacation with his family using his winnings.

Ira Curry, a Georgia resident, was fifty-six years old at the time of her win. She resides in Stone Mountain and worked as a vice president of an insurance company. Curry only purchased one ticket and used various family birthdays to choose her numbers. These winners have mostly stayed out of the public eye since they won the lottery.

Biggest Lottery Winners: Join the Club

With a bit of luck, you can become one of the biggest lottery winners too!

And, we can help. Consider signing up for Yotta's prize-linked savings account, and you'll automatically be entered into daily sweepstakes.

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