Biggest cash payouts in U.S. lottery history

Posted: March 21, 2012

Mega Millions has one of the biggest cash jackpots ever, as its lump-sum payout reached $170 million for Tuesday's drawing.

If a single person wins it - and isn't that every player's dream? - it would be the fourth biggest payout ever.

The record for a win by a single ticket was set just last month when Powerball's cash payout hit $210 million. Louisa White, 81, of Newport, R.I., recently stepped forward to claim it.

The advertised annuity - $336.4 million - was staggering, but not a record-setter. Five annuities were bigger, including two in Powerball.

Winners almost always take the cash.

The biggest cash jackpot ever was $240 million, for the Jan. 4, 2011, Mega Millions drawing, but it was split by two tickets, sold in Idaho and Washington State. The annuity value was $380 million.

Here's a list of the 25 biggest cash payouts in U.S. lottery history. No split jackpot awarded enough to any of its winners make the list.

1. $210 million cash, Powerball, won Feb. 11, 2012. One Rhode Island winner. Annuity was $336.4 million.

2. $205 million cash, Mega Millions, Mega Millions, for March 23, 2012, drawing. Annuity: $290 million.

3. $202.8 million cash, Mega Millions, won March 25, 2011. One New York winner. Annuity: $319 million. (Record for cash and annuity jackpots hit by a single Mega Millions ticket.)

3. $177.3 million cash, Powerball, won Feb. 18, 2006. One Nebraska ticket. Annuity: $365 million. (Record annuity prize with a single winner for any U.S. lottery.)

4. $175 million cash, Mega Millions, won Nov. 15, 2005. One California ticket. Annuity: $315 million.

6. $168 million cash, Mega Millions, July 2, 2004. One Massachusetts ticket. Annuity: $294 million.

7. $167.7 million cash, Mega Millions, Feb. 22, 2008. One Georgia ticket. Annuity: $275 million.

8. $165 million cash, Mega Millions, May 4, 2010. One California ticket. Annuity: $266 million.

9. $164.4 million cash, Powerball, won Oct. 19, 2005. One Oregon ticket. Annuity: $340 million.

10. $164 million cash, Mega Millions, won Feb. 28, 2006. One Ohio ticket. Annuity: $270 million.

11. $161.5 million cash, Mega Millions, won July 29, 1998. One Indiana ticket. Annuity: $295.7 million.

12 $156.1 million cash, Mega Millions, won Sept. 16, 2005. One New Jersey ticket. Annuity: $258 million.

13. $153.3 million. Mega Millions, won Dec. 27, 2011. One New York ticket. Annuity: $208 million.

14. $151.7 million cash, Powerball, won Nov. 2, 2011. One Connecticut ticket. Annuity: $254 million.

15. $148.1 million cash, Mega Millions, won April 18, 2006. One Ohio ticket. Annuity: $265 million.

16. $146 million, Powerball, won Aug. 25, 2007. One Indiana ticket. Annuity: $314.3 million.

17. $141.5 million, Mega Millions, won on Feb. 20, 2004. One Virginia ticket. Annuity: $239 million.

18. $141 million, Mega Millions, won on Dec. 12, 2008. One Ohio ticket. Annuity: $207 million.

19. $140 million, Mega Millions, won on March 3, 2009. One New Jersey ticket. Annuity: $216 million.

20. $139.4 million cash, Powerball, won Mar. 15, 2008. One West Virginia ticket. Annuity: $276 million.

21. $134.9 million cash, Powerball, won June 2, 2010. One Ohio ticket. Annuity: $261.6 million.

22. $129.8 million cash, Powerball, won Aug. 19, 2009. One South Carolina ticket. Annuity: $259.9 million.

23. $125 million, Mega Millions, won on Oct. 16, 2009. One Virginia ticket. Annuity: $200 million.

24. $124.9 million, Powerball, won April 21, 2010. One Missouri ticket. Annuity: $258.5 million.

25. $123.6 million cash, Powerball, won Aug. 10, 2011. One Minnesota ticket. Annuity: $228.9 million.

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