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LOTTERY

What are the biggest Powerball jackpots ever?

Powerball jackpots have been reaching stratospheric levels, three within a twelve-month range going into the ten-digit range. Here’s a list of the top ten.

Update:
What are the biggest Powerball jackpots ever?

The Powerball lottery is once again above the billion-dollar mark, the fourth time since 2016 after the rules were tweaked. Those changes made winning smaller prizes easier but netting the biggest prize harder with the odds being 1 in 292.2 million. That along with adding another weekly draw has led to jackpots soaring to astronomical heights.

The biggest jackpot ever was claimed by a single ticketholder in California in November 2022. Edwin Castro claimed the $2.04 billion jackpot three months later on Valentine’s Day. Since he took the lump-sum payment it was less than half the amount but still a mind-blowing $997.6 million.

That sum would have been reduced further after Uncle Sam took his cut but as he won the prize in California the state was hands off.

What are the biggest Powerball jackpots ever?

There have been four Powerball jackpots to climb above one billion dollars, two of which have been in 2023. Six of the top ten jackpots have been in the last two years. Only two of those so far have been claimed by more than one winner. When there are multiple winning tickets, the jackpot is split evenly among each one. Here’s a look at the ten biggest Powerball jackpots:

  1. $2.04 Billion – 7 Nov. 2022 – CA
  2. $1.586 Billion – 13 Jan. 2016 – CA, FL, TN
  3. $1.4 Billion (est.) – 7 Oct. 2023
  4. $1.08 Billion – 19 Jul. 2023 – CA
  5. $768.4 Million – 27 Mar. 2019 – WI
  6. $758.7 Million – 23 Aug. 2017 – MA
  7. $754.6 Million – 6 Feb. 2023 - WA
  8. $731.1 Million – 20 Jan. 2021 – MD
  9. $699.8 Million – 4 Oct. 2021 – CA
  10. $687.8 Million – 27 Oct. 2018 – IA, NY

Largest lottery jackpots in US history

Not to be outdone, Mega Millions changed its rules a couple years after Powerball. They had a similar effect of swelling the jackpots on offer. Currently, the two lotteries are tied for the number of top ten largest jackpots in US history.

All but one of the biggest jackpots in US history have amassed a ten-digit theoretical payout. However, most players chose to take the lump-sum payment instead of the annuity option which cuts the actual amount by more than half.

And lottery windfalls are cut down further with a instant cut going to the tax man followed by income taxes later on from the federal government. As well, of the 45 states where the multi-state lotteries can be played, only eight of them don’t collect state lottery taxes.

  1. $2.04 billion: Powerball - 7 Nov. 2022 – CA
  2. $1.586 billion: Powerball – 13 Jan. 2016 – CA, FL, TN
  3. $1.58 billion: Mega Millions – 8 Aug. 2023 – FL
  4. $1.537 billion: Mega Millions – 23 Oct. 2018 - SC
  5. $1.4 billion (est.): Powerball – 7 Oct. 2023
  6. $1.35 billion: Mega Millions – 13 Jan. 2023 - ME 
  7. $1.337 billion: Mega Millions – 29 Jul. 2022 - IL 
  8. $1.08 billion: Powerball – 19 Jul. 2023 – CA
  9. $1.05 billion: Mega Millions – 22 Jan. 2021 - MI
  10. $768.4 million: Powerball – 27 Mar. 2019 – WI