Major Lottery Wins

Everybody wants to win the lottery one day, which is why people buy lottery tickets every week in hopes that they have the winning numbers. But the odds aren’t exactly in your favor. The odds of winning the Powerball Lottery is 1 in 175,223,510, which is impossibly small. Yet millions of people still buy tickets every week religiously.

And for those lucky few that actually get the numbers right, it’s like a dream come true! Over the years there has been a number of big payouts. Here are some of the top major lottery wins in the United States!

  1. $656M Mega Millions Jackpot – March 2012

Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois and three teachers, along with and an anonymous winner in Ottawa, Kansas each got $218.6 million! The Butlers were the only ones to come forward publicly about their winnings and said that they’d take the lump sum of $157 million on the advice of their financial planners and lawyers. They didn’t reveal, however, what they would spend their major winnings on.

  1. $390M Mega Millions Jackpot – March 2007

Eddie Nabors from Dalton, Georgia and Elaine and Harold Messner of Woodbine, New Jersey shared the big pot. Nabors was a truck driver then and he told the “Today Show” that he planned on paying off bills and mortgages for his family and planned on going fishing.


  1. $380M Mega Millions Jackpot – January 2011

Jim and Carolyn McCullar of Ephrata, Washington took home a pretty big prize. The couple told the press that he would give his kids money and donate some of the winnings to charity. Holly Lathi of Rathdrum, Idaho also took home some cash and the single mother quit her job as a customer service rep at a bank and went into hiding.


  1. $365M Powerball – February 2006

Eight workers from a ConAgra meatpacking plant in Nebraska all shared in the huge pot. They all quit their jobs and became millionaires!


  1. $363M The Big Game – May 2000

Joe and Sue Kainz of Tower Lakes, Illinois and Larry and Nancy Ross from Shelby Township, Michigan shared the big prize. Before coming forward publicly, the Kainzes reportedly drove to the store where they bought the ticket and watched as reporters tried to find them. They finally told reporters that they’d pay down bills and put the money into their brewery.


  1. $340M Powerball – October 2005

Steve and Carolyn West of Medford, Oregon and Robert and Frances Chaney of Jacksonville, Oregon won the big jackpot, with the Wests telling People Magazine that they bought a huge home on six acres.


  1. $336.4M Powerball – February 2012

Louise White of Newport, Rhode Island is said to have kept her winning ticket in her bible and slept with it until she could get to the bank and place it in a safety deposit box.