Lotteries are by far the most widespread form of gambling in the United States and bring in the highest gross revenue and highest profit rates in comparison to any other form of gambling. The American Lottery has its roots firmly planted in the colonies as far back as the 1600’s and America’s modern lotteries enjoy much success despite the odds actually being the worst of any common form of gambling. The success is due to the promise of the greatest return for money spent and the hope which it brings to many people across the US. Prizes regularly equal tens of millions of dollars, if not more and there are plenty of lower tier prizes which would still change lives. The best part of this form of gambling is that the players risk a substantially small amount of money to win such a large prize, with the net proceeds going to the public for the greater good. This is why so many lotteries remain popular throughout the years and why the majority of adults in the US have reported playing the lottery at least once in their lives. There are currently lotteries operating in 37 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. It costs only $2 to play and you can either choose your own numbers or let the terminal randomly pick numbers for you. You select 5 numbers from 1 to 69 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 26 (for the red powerball). Jackpots start at a guaranteed $40 million. Over the years Powerball has seen amazing wins with the biggest win in history being $1.586 billion. Here are a few of Powerball’s biggest winners:
The biggest prize in Powerball history was on 13 January 2016 for $1.586 billion dollars. The jackpot was shared between three winning tickets – John and Lisa Robinson from Tennessee, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt in Florida, and Marvin and Mae Acosta in California. They each had the option of $533 million before taxes as an annuity or a lump-sum payment of $327.8 million.
Another big Powerball lottery winner is 53 year old clerical worker, Mavis L. Wanczyk, who worked in the nursing department at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield. She won a whopping $758.7 million in the Powerball draw in August 2017. She chose to take the lump-sum payout which came to $480.5 million – more than the worth of some small countries such as Micronesia or the Pacific Islands of Palau!
On 18th May 2013 yet another big win went to Gloria MacKenzie, an 84 year old woman from Zephyrhills in Florida. The jackpot was $590.5 million and after opting for a pre-tax cash payment she went home with $370.8 million.
The fourth biggest Powerball lottery win was on 28th November 2012 where two winning ticket holders shared a jackpot worth $587.5 million. One ticket belonged to Matthew Good from Arizona and the other to Mark and Cindy Hill from Missouri. Both winners decided to take the pre-tax cash option of $192.3 million.
Next up is a three way split of $564.1 million. The jackpot was drawn on 11th February 2015 and was won by Marie Holmes, a single mother from North Carolina; an anonymous citizen in Puerto Rico; and the third ticket was claimed by an anonymous trust in Texas.
Last but not least on the over $500 million winners list was the first big Powerball jackpot to be won in 2018. The single ticket holder from New Hampshire won $559.7 million and entered into legal proceedings to protect her information as she wanted to remain anonymous.
For everyone out there dreaming of joining the rich and famous, you could very well find your name on that list – all you need to do is enter Powerball, you never know when your numbers could come up!
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