Who are the top Powerball and Mega Millions winners?

A North Carolina man won a Powerball prize by playing the numbers from his date of birth, NC lottery officials said.  His wife didn't believe him at first.

A North Carolina man won a Powerball prize by playing the numbers from his date of birth, NC lottery officials said. His wife didn’t believe him at first.

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With Saturday’s second largest Powerball jackpot in history looming, here’s some past winner data to guide you through.

Increase your odds? no Still a 1 in 292 million chance. But as lottery people say, someone will win one day.

The state with the most winners is California with three. One of them included the biggest jackpot ever – $1.586 billion. Bad news. Had to separate from two other people.

The biggest single winner was a South Carolina woman who chose to remain anonymous but told her story in a New York courtroom after the so-called “lottery attorney” she hired cheated her out of $80 million. She won $1.537 billion and received a one-time payment of $878 million.

New York and Maryland each had two winners.

Other states with big winners included Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Georgia.

Among the top 10 lottery winners, Powerball had the most with six, while Mega Millions had four.

Eleven states, including South Carolina, allow winners to remain anonymous, Pro Tip: If you are in a state that requires identification, create and trust or LLC.

Business Insider says based on the zip codes where tickets are bought, people of lower incomes play the lottery all the time. People play for money when the pots are getting huge.

A word of caution, many of the people who have won the most have had to deal with scammers.

Here’s what we know about the people who won the 10 biggest jackpots.

1. $1.586 billion (Powerball)

That was in 2016. The first time a jackpot grew over $1 billion. On January 13, three tickets were sold, each worth nearly $530 million.

The first to report were John and Lisa Robinson from Munford, Tennessee, who took to the Today Show to share their news. They opted for the $327.8 million lump sum payout and brought their dog to collect the check.

“We’re going to take the lump sum because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” Robinson told AP. “We just wanted a small piece of the pie. Now we are really grateful that we got the big piece of the pie.”

She worked in a dermatologist’s office and he was a warehouse manager. They wanted to stay in Mumford, they told the AP at the time. But not long after, they bought a 10-bedroom home on 320 acres with a private lake for $6.2 million, Memphis television station FOX13 reported.

In Florida, Maureen Smith, 70, and her husband David Kaltschmidt, 55, from Melbourne Beach also had a winning ticket. They claimed the prize, lottery officials at The Nickel 95 Trust, Florida said.

At a press conference, they declined to say what the trust’s name means.

Smith said she played the same numbers for years but didn’t play that often. She bought a ticket. They waited a month to redeem the ticket.

She said they would take care of her family. Kaltschmidt, who worked for Northrop Grumman as a manufacturing engineer for 34 years, wanted to retire. He said he wanted to buy a new car. Smith wanted a massage.

2. $1.537 billion (megamillion)

That South Carolina woman said during the trial of attorney Jason Kurland that when she won Mega Millions on Oct. 23, 2018, she was in her late 50s, an insurance company with a $401,000 and a checking account. Her husband was a lawyer.

They were married 36 years and had adult children. She didn’t want riches to change anything.

The most important thing for them was that nobody knew who they were.

Kurland referred them to bogus investments from which he and his employees benefited. He was found guilty in July of five counts of wire fraud, honest wire fraud and money laundering, according to court documents.

She has managed to keep her identity a secret.

3. $1.337 billion (megamillion)

Two Illinois residents won $1.337 billion on July 29, 2022, choosing to remain anonymous. All that is known is that the ticket was sold at a speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, raising a pre-tax lump sum of $780.5 million eight weeks after the drawing.

4. $1.05 billion (megamillion)

The Wolverine FLL Club won this award on January 22, 2021 in Michigan. The four members of the club chose a one-time lump sum payment of approximately $776 million. That equates to about $557 million after taxes.

5. $768.4 million (Powerball)

On March 27, 2019, 24 years old Manuel Franco from Wisconsin won Powerball after playing the game since he was 18.

“It feels like a dream,” Franco said at a press conference as he redeemed his ticket.

He said he felt lucky when he bought the ticket at a speedway and he almost looked at the security camera and winked.

When he saw that he had won, “he screamed for about 5 or 10 minutes”.

6. $758.7 million (Powerball)

When Mavis Wanczyk After redeeming her Powerball ticket for an Aug. 23, 2017 jackpot, she had already told her boss at Mercy Medical in Springfield, Massachusetts, that she was quitting, the Huff Post reported. The then 53-year-old said at a press conference: “It’s just a dream I’ve always had.”

“I just want to sit back and relax,” she said.

7. $731.1 million (Powerball)

A group calling themselves The Power Pack took down the January 20, 2021 jackpot in Maryland four months after the drawing. They told lottery officials that they intended to invest, take care of the family and help their community.

8. $699.8 million (Powerball)

Scott Godfrey told KSBY News he believes there was something wrong with his ticket, which he purchased in Morro Bay, California, for the Oct. 4, 2021 drawing. He couldn’t possibly have won.

He said he has set up a foundation “which will receive much of the money to work on charities.”

“We feel blessed and we feel like there’s a direct reason we’ve been entrusted with this,” Godfrey told the TV network. “That’s why we consciously made sure that it works and that it’s as good as possible for the less fortunate.”

“We are private individuals and intend to remain so,” Godfrey said in a Lottery Commission statement. “We’ve also been involved in charitable causes for a long time, and now we can really expand that effort to fully appreciate this blessing. This money is not about me. It’s about all the good that can come from it.”

9. $687.8 million (Powerball)

Ticket holders in New York and Iowa won the October 4, 2021 jackpot, receiving $343.9 million each. One of the tickets was sold at a deli in New York City.

The other went to Lerynne West, who bought a ticket while making a fresh start in Redfield, Iowa, Playusalotteries.com reported.

Then came the comedy of mistakes. She left her ticket at her sister’s house. Then when she checked it online it said no winner. She knew where the winning ticket was purchased, so she checked again and she entered the wrong date.

“When I entered the correct date, it said ‘Jackpot. I thought I did something wrong again,” she said at a press conference.

Then her daughters didn’t believe that she had won.

She said she would help family and friends, start a college fund for her six grandchildren, and fund the Callum Foundation, named after a deceased grandson, which focuses on poverty, hunger, education, animal welfare and veterans’ issues.

And she wanted to trade in her Ford Fiesta.

10. $656 million (Mega Millions)

A couple from Red Budd, Illinois had one of three winning tickets for the March 30, 2012 drawing. Merle and Patricia Butler kept their prize a secret for three weeks and cashed in the ticket for $218.6 million.

“We’re just normal people who have worked hard our whole lives, who love our family and our city, who pay our taxes and try to keep up with all the work that comes with owning and maintaining a home” , Merle Butler told a press conference.

He retired after 25 years with General American Life Insurance in St. Louis. The couple had been married for 41 years at the time and said they would invest the money, help their two children and grandchildren, and go to some St. Louis Cardinals games.

They were the last to register for the award.

In Maryland, a group calling themselves The Three Amigos, consisting of a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s and a woman in his 50s, pooled their money and bought 20 tickets each.

The man said in a press conference that he wants to set up college funds for his children, pay off his house and buy a house.

Backpacking through Europe was another answer. The other woman wanted to visit Italy’s wine country.

“It’s so crazy that even celebrities are tweeting about it,” said one of them. “Even Britney Spears tweeted a congratulatory message to the winners.”

The winner from Kansas chose to remain anonymous.

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