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How much is the biggest lottery now?

The lottery is a form of gambling that involves the drawing of numbers for a prize. Lotteries are outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments. In the United States, the lottery is subject to laws that vary from state to state.

The biggest lottery prizes reach astronomical amounts in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Lottery prizes that high are usually split between multiple winning tickets. The holders of each winning ticket will divide the prize, which reduces the amount each individual winner receives. Even with the split, lottery prizes can still equate to life-changing sums of money for the winners.

Current Biggest Lottery Jackpots

Here are some of the biggest lottery jackpots available right now:

Lottery Current Jackpot
Powerball $1.5 billion
Mega Millions $20 million
EuroMillions €130 million

As you can see, the current Powerball jackpot is by far the biggest at $1.5 billion. The cash value of this jackpot would be approximately $745.9 million if won at the next drawing. Mega Millions and EuroMillions also have sizable jackpots available, though they pale in comparison to Powerball’s astronomical current prize.

US Lottery Background

History of US Lotteries

Lotteries have a long history in the United States dating back to colonial times when they were used to help fund various public works and projects. Some key events in US lottery history include:

– 1744 – The first recorded colonial American lottery takes place in Rhode Island with proceeds used to build a bridge.

– 1768 – The first colonial American lottery in Massachusetts helps fund the fight against Britain during the Revolutionary War.

– 1823 – Private lotteries are banned in New York due to fraud. Other states follow suit over the next several decades.

– 1887 – Congress bans all lottery materials from being sent through the US Postal Service.

– 1964 – New Hampshire becomes the first state to start a modern lottery. Others soon follow.

– 1988 – Lotto America becomes the first multi-state lottery game.

Today, 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands all run lotteries that help fund various government programs, such as education, senior citizens, and environmental conservation. State lotteries generate over $80 billion in annual ticket revenue.

How US Lotteries Work

In the United States, the lottery is run by individual state governments. Some key aspects of how US lotteries work:

– Lotteries are not available nationwide. Each state separately operates its lottery.

– To play, you must be a resident of that lottery’s state and be of legal age (18+ in most states). You physically need to be in the state to purchase tickets.

– Prizes can be claimed anonymously in most states by claiming through a trust.

– Lottery proceeds go to fund government programs and services in each state. For example, education, senior services, natural resources, etc.

– The lottery operations and sales are regulated by each state. Retailers receive a commission from sales.

– The largest multi-state lotteries are Powerball and Mega Millions, which are available in most states.

– Drawings are held on certain nights and broadcast on TV and online. Lottery terminals at retailers update with the latest jackpots and drawings.

So while there is no single nationwide US lottery, the individual state lotteries follow a similar model but on a state-by-state basis. The multi-state games allow participation across much wider areas for chances at bigger jackpots.

Current Biggest Lottery Jackpots

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest lottery jackpots currently up for grabs in the United States and around the world:


Powerball holds the current record for the biggest lottery jackpot in world history at $1.586 billion. The January 2016 draw was split between three winning tickets purchased in California, Florida, and Tennessee.

The current Powerball jackpot is now approaching that record amount at an advertised $1.5 billion. The cash value would be an estimated $745.9 million lump sum payment if won at the next drawing on Saturday, November 5th, 2022. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.

Powerball is a multi-state lottery available in 45 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET. Players select 5 main numbers from 1 to 69 plus the Powerball from 1 to 26.

Mega Millions

Mega Millions holds the record for the second-largest lottery jackpot in history at $1.537 billion. The October 2018 jackpot was won by a single ticket purchased in South Carolina.

The current Mega Millions jackpot sits at $20 million for the next drawing on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

Mega Millions can be played in 45 states plus Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands. Drawings are held each Tuesday and Friday evening at 11 p.m. ET. Players pick 5 numbers 1 to 70 and the Mega Ball 1 to 25.


EuroMillions is a lottery game played across nine European countries – the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland. Draws are held each Tuesday and Friday in Paris.

The current EuroMillions jackpot sits at €130 million (approximately $128 million USD) for the next drawing on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022. The odds of winning the EuroMillions jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160.

To play, EuroMillions players select five main numbers from 1-50 and two Lucky Star numbers from 1-12. Minimum jackpots start at €17 million and can roll over to €220 million.

Largest Lottery Jackpots Ever

10 Biggest Lottery Prizes of All Time

Here are the top 10 record lottery jackpots of all time:

Rank Lottery Amount Date
1 Powerball $1.586 billion January 2016
2 Mega Millions $1.537 billion October 2018
3 Powerball $768.4 million March 2019
4 Powerball $758.7 million August 2017
5 Powerball $731.1 million January 2021
6 Mega Millions $656 million March 2012
7 Powerball $632.6 million January 2022
8 Powerball $590.5 million May 2013
9 Powerball $587.5 million November 2012
10 Powerball $564.1 million February 2015

As you can see, Powerball holds eight out of the top ten records. Mega Millions holds the #2 and #6 spots. Powerball also holds the current record of $1.586 billion, which may potentially be surpassed by the current $1.5 billion jackpot up for grabs.

Biggest Jackpots by State

The following states have awarded the largest lottery prizes in each state’s history:

State Lottery Amount Date
Alabama Powerball $158.7 million August 2018
Alaska Powerball $380.1 million January 2016
Arizona The Pick $85.9 million April 2005
Arkansas Powerball $177 million January 2010
California Powerball $1.586 billion January 2016

Individual Lottery Winnings Records

Here are some of the biggest individual lottery jackpot winnings ever:

– $1.537 billion – One winning ticket in South Carolina for the October 2018 Mega Millions drawing held the previous record for the largest single-ticket win of all time.

– $768.4 million – A single Powerball ticket purchased in Wisconsin won this massive jackpot in March 2019.

– $758.7 million – Mavis Wanczyk was the sole winner of this Powerball jackpot in August 2017 with a ticket bought in Massachusetts.

– $656 million – This massive Mega Millions prize was split across three winning tickets in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland in March 2012.

– $636 million – The two winning tickets in California and Georgia split this huge December 2013 Mega Millions jackpot.

– $590.5 million – A lucky Florida winner claimed this record Powerball jackpot in May 2013.

– $587.5 million – Two winning tickets purchased in Arizona and Missouri shared this Powerball jackpot in November 2012, splitting nearly $588 million.

While we may think of the biggest jackpots as being split between multiple winning tickets, there are still many instances of individual players winning hundreds of millions all to themselves, or sharing split jackpots as just one of two or three winners.

Tips for Playing the Lottery

Improve Your Odds

While winning any significant lottery prize is exceedingly rare, there are some tips that may slightly improve your odds:

– Pick uncommon numbers – Avoid popular combinations like 1-2-3-4-5-6 or anniversary dates. This will reduce split jackpots.

– Try quick picks – Random number selections may increase odds versus human-chosen combinations.

– Buy more tickets – More tickets equals more chances to win, but avoid going overboard.

– Join a pool or syndicate – Pooling money can allow buying more tickets and numbers.

– Avoid consecutive numbers – They are less likely to be drawn.

– Mix it up – Don’t just play one lottery. Play both Powerball and Mega Millions for better overall odds.

– Use key birthday numbers – While anniversary dates as a whole should be avoided, your birthday or family birthdays can be blended with other non-consecutive numbers.

Claiming Prizes

Here are some tips for claiming lottery prizes:

– Sign your winning ticket immediately – This establishes ownership in case it gets lost or stolen.

– Consult experts – Talk to financial planners, accountants, and lawyers before publicly coming forward.

– Stay anonymous – You may be able to claim anonymously through a trust, depending on location.

– Take the lump sum – You’ll get more money upfront rather than spread out over installments.

– Pay your taxes – Remember lottery winnings get taxed heavily, so set some aside for the IRS.

– Avoid big changes – Don’t make big purchases or lifestyle changes right away. Take time to plan and think it through.

– Keep personal safety in mind – Be careful of sharing information that could compromise your safety in any way.

– Give back – You may want to donate to charity or help out loved ones, but be prudent with how much.

Safety and Responsibility

Here are some tips for staying safe and responsible if you ever win big:

– Only spend responsibly – Don’t fall into the trap of blowing it all quickly on an extravagant lifestyle.

– Don’t go overboard on gifts – Offering money to friends and extended family can change relationships. Give prudently.

– Avoid predatory lending – Be careful of those who may try to take advantage and offer bad deals for your winnings.

– Keep personal details limited – Never fully publicize where you live or your personal details.

– Hire security if applicable – If you become famous due to a big win, you may need personal security staff.

– Stick to a budget – Create and follow a reasonable budget to make the windfall last.

– Invest wisely – Putting a portion into conservative investments can generate ongoing income.

– Don’t quit your job right away – Give yourself time to think it through and make a plan.

– Be wary of freeloaders – Some may come asking for handouts or business deals. Politely say no.

– Reflect before acting – Take your time with big decisions related to your windfall. Don’t rush.


Winning an enormous lottery prize can be life-changing. Current jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions put them among the biggest lottery prizes of all time. Even though the odds are overwhelmingly against winning, many still enjoy the excitement and fantasy. If you do happen to become an unlikely big winner, proper planning and prudence is essential for keeping the windfall intact. With wise decisions and safety precautions, your lottery winnings could set you and your family up for life. Just don’t let the money become a curse rather than a blessing.