Biggest lottery jackpots in U.S. history

Posted: March 24, 2011

The March 25, 2011, Mega Millions jackpot got bumped up to $312 million, but how big is that all-time?

According to official reports, it's the sixth biggest Mega Millions prize ever, and the 12th biggest ever for any U.S. lottery.

If no one hits it, history is a good bet to be made. The record $390 million jackpot of March 2007 soared from the previous drawing's $275 million.

Here's a list that includes the 25 largest payouts ever, including Mega Millions; its precursor, the Big Game; and Powerball, the other major multistate lottery. In parentheses is the rank for that particular lottery.

1. $390 million, Mega Millions (1), won March 6, 2007, by 2 tickets, in Georgia and New Jersey. (Cash payout was $233.1 million, second all-time.)

2. $380 million, Mega Millions (2), won Jan. 4, 2011, drawing, in Idaho and Washington State. (Cash payout of $240 million was biggest ever.)

3. $365 million, Powerball (1), won Feb. 18, 2006, in Nebraska. (Biggest win ever for a single ticket.)

4. $363 million, Big Game (1), won May 9, 2000, by 2 tickets, in Illinois and Michigan.

5. $340 million, Powerball (2), won Oct. 19, 2005, in Oregon.

6. $336 million, Mega Millions (3), won Aug. 28, 2009, by two tickets. in New York and California.

7. $331 million, Big Game (2), won April 16, 2002, by three tickets, in Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey.

8. $330 million, Mega Millions (4), won Aug. 31, 2007, by four tickets, in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Virginia.

9. $315 million, Mega Millions (5), won Nov. 15, 2005, by 1 ticket in California.

10. $314.9 million, Powerball (3), won Dec. 25, 2002, by 1 ticket in West Virginia.

11. $314.3 million, Powerball (4), won Aug. 25, 2007, in Indiana.

12. $312 million, Mega Millions (6), for March 25, 2011 drawing.

13. $295.7 million, Powerball (5), won July 29, 1998, in Indiana.

14. $295 million, Powerball (6), won Aug. 25, 2001, in four states, Delaware, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

15. $294 million, Mega Millions (7), won July 2, 2004, in Maryland.

16. $276.3 million, Powerball (7), won by March 15, 2008, in West Virginia.

17. $275 million, Mega Millions (8), won Feb. 22, 2008, in Georgia.

18. $270 million, Mega Millions (9), won Feb. 28, 2006, in Ohio.

19. $266 million, Mega Millions (10), won May 4, 2010, in California.

20. $265 million, Mega Millions (11), won April 18, 2006 in Ohio.

21. $261.3 million, Powerball (8) won July 9, 2003, by 2 tickets, in Pennsylvania and Missouri.

22. $261.6 million, Powerball (9), won June 2, 2010, by one Ohio ticket.

23. $259.9 million, Powerball (10), won Aug. 19, 2009, in South Carolina.

24. 258.5 million, Powerball (11), won April 21, 2010, in Missouri.

25. $258 million, Mega Millions (12), won Sept. 16, 2005, in New Jersey. (Biggest jackpot win ever in New Jersey.)

For more on lotteries, go to www.philly.com/philly/news/lottery, www.powerball.com or www.megamillions.com.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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