When you start looking at the world’s biggest lotto jackpots of all time, it is hard to fathom one or two or even three people walking away with these massive sums of money. We’re not just talking $50 million or $60 million – these jackpots are in the hundreds of millions. It might seem hard to believe, but the world’s largest lotto jackpot of all time was over €2 billion. Even Australia’s record $100 million Oz Lotto jackpot in November 2012 doesn’t come close to the numbers being thrown around in the US and Europe. Check out how the world’s biggest lotto jackpots compare.*
*Accurate as of September 2015
The top 25 jackpot records, all of which counted over $300 million, were from the nation’s two highest jackpotting games, Mega Millions and Powerball. But with big jackpots come big taxes – all lotto winners in the US are required to pay tax on their winnings.
In March 2012, three winners shared the biggest jackpot in US history, which came to $474 million after taxes. This was the largest cash payout in world history.
Two winners won Division 1 in December 2013, sharing in $347.6 million after taxes.
This prize, won in May 2013, set the record for the most cash won by a single lotto player. After taxes, the cash value of the jackpot was $370.9 million.
This Division 1 prize was taken by two winners in November 2012. After taxes, the two lotto players divided up $384.7 million between them.
Most recently, in February 2015, three winners shared in a total of $258.2 million after taxes.
While Europe doesn’t quite match the insane jackpot levels of the US, it can officially claim the largest lotto jackpot in the world – Spain’s Christmas Lottery, which also offers the largest Division 1 prize in the world. Best of all – European lottery winnings are generally tax-free.
In 2012, the Division 1 prize reached €720 million while the total prize pool soared to over €2.2 billion. Tickets for the raffle-style lottery are not unique, meaning that many winners can hold the same ticket number and more people can share in the Division 1 prize.
The July 2011 jackpot was the largest jackpot and single winner prize ever won in the pan-European draw. The jackpot was won by a lotto player in the UK.
This was the largest jackpot won by a single UK lotto player in EUR currency in August 2012. In October 2014 it happened again, meaning the third place record is a tie – €190 million (£149.8 million/US$240.7 million) was won by a single winner in Portugal.
This was the largest prize ever won by a single lotto player in Italy’s SuperEnalotto lottery in August 2009.
A lotto player from the Czech Republic was the sole winner of the largest ever jackpot in the pan-European Eurojackpot in May 2015.
It might seem that Australia’s lotto jackpots are dwarfed in comparison to the US and Europe, but keep in mind that our country is much smaller. Australia currently has a population of 23 million compared to 318 million in the US and approximately 740 million in Europe.
Australia’s biggest lotto jackpot of all time had four winners who shared in $100 million in November 2012. The winners, located in Victoria, Queensland, and the ACT, won over $27 million each including prizes in minor divisions.
Two lotto players from Queensland and South Australia took home over $50 million each thanks to minor division prizes in the June 2009 draw.
There were three lucky winners in this May 2012 jackpot, located in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. They each took a share worth $25 million.
In December 2013, a lotto player from Queensland broke records by winning the entire prize pool, making it the largest single lotto win in Australian history.
Two lotto players, located in Queensland and New South Wales, shared in this big jackpot in August 2014.
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