Top 5 Biggest Mega Millions Jackpots

Mega Millions is one of the most popular lotteries around the world and for good reason: the jackpots the Mega Millions offers are incredible! Millions of players fight for a chance to win the mouth-watering prizes. This means that, every draw there is steep competition to beat. However, there were a few lucky winners throughout this lottery’s history who scooped record-breaking jackpots and their stories are truly inspiring.

Their amazing stories show you that beating the lottery odds is not an impossible task. If others have managed to do it, so can you! A memorable win can be achieved through luck, inspiration and perseverance! Mega Millions maintains its legacy by displaying amazing amounts in every draw and there is an established Hall of Fame for the winners who scored big with this lotto giant. Let’s check out the stories of our top 5 biggest Mega Millions jackpot winners.

1. $1.537 Billion

5. $543 Million

2. $1.05 Billion

6. $536 Million

3. $656 Million

7. Mega Millions Winners FAQs

4. $648 Million

1 - $1,537 Billion scooped on October 23, 2018

A single ticket bought in South Carolina matched all the five main numbers and the Mega Ball to win a historic jackpot worth $1.537 Billion! This is the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever awarded and still holds the record for the first lotto win on a single lottery ticket! 

The winner of this amazing jackpot took their time before coming forward to claim their win, but eventually, after a few months, they did. The winner chose to maintain their anonymity, which was possible as the state of South Carolina is among the 6 US states that allow lotto players to keep their identities private after a big win.

Mega Millions Winner

Hogan Brown, the Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission, explained that the officials will respect the winner’s decision to stay anonymous. He also revealed that the lucky ticket was a Quick Pick and the winner was kind enough to allow another customer to buy a Mega Millions ticket in front of him. Who knows, maybe this small act of kindness attracted such amazing luck!

2 - $1.05 Billion scooped on January 22, 2021

Mega Millions started the year 2021 in a grand way with a new record jackpot worth $1 Billion! It reached this amount after not being scooped for 37 consecutive draws before finally being scooped on January 22, 2021 by a single ticket.

This ticket was shared by 4 lucky players from Michigan that were playing in a syndicate. They came to claim their prize just 2 months after winning, as the Wolverine LLC Club. These good Samaritans even declared they want to share their winnings with charity.

This jackpot is the second on our list, but also the third largest jackpot ever scooped in the World!

3 - $656 Million scooped on March 30, 2012

Before there were any lottery prizes reaching the $1 Billion threshold, the US Mega Millions lottery established a record with its $656 Million jackpot of March 2012. It was the largest lottery jackpot at the time and it got millions of people from all over the world excited. In the end, three tickets had the winning numbers for this record jackpot, with each of them taking home a share of $218 Million. These are their inspiring stories:

The Tree Amigos from Maryland

Three co-workers from the Maryland education system  started playing the Mega Millions together as a syndicate. This smart choice brought them a third of the amazing $656 Million jackpot. The Tree Amigos bought 60 entries together and luckily, one of them matched all the 5 main numbers and the Mega Ball. Although they were ecstatic about their win, they wanted to maintain a sense of anonymity so they came disguised to claim their prize! The local Maryland lottery official was happy for the syndicate's win and said that “this could not have happened to friendlier people”.

The three amigos, Mega Millions winners

Merle and Patricia Butler from Illinois

Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud, Illinois, were the second to come forward and claim their part of the Mega Millions jackpot. The retired couple was a regular, hardworking family who paid their taxes and lived a normal lifestyle. They chose the lump cash payout, ending up with $111 Million after taxes. Merle was responsible enough to contact a financial analyst which helped them manage their fortune as to enjoy a carefree retirement. The Mega Millions ticket cost was definitely covered by this amazing win! 

Anonymous Winner from Kansas

The third share of the huge jackpot went to a lotto player from Kansas who chose to stay away from the limelight. Kansas allows lotto winners to claim their prizes anonymously, and the winner took advantage of this and kept his identity private. Lottery officials declared that the winner showed up with a lawyer exactly one day after the win to claim their part of the prize. He also chose the lump sum payout.

4 - $648 Million scooped on December 17, 2013

Back in December 2013, the Mega Millions made headlines again with an enormous $648 Million main prize. Two ticket-holders ended up winning the jackpot and each of them took home a share of $324 Million.

Ira Curry from Georgia

Ira Curry, a 56-year-old woman from Atlanta, Georgia played Mega Millions with a set of meaningful numbers, the birthdays of her family members. This proved to be an inspired decision, as she matched all the winning numbers in the draw (8-14-17-20-39/ Mega Ball 7). The first one to realize they might have won the lottery game was Ira’s daughter who immediately called her mother to tell her. After the initial excitement of realizing her amazing luck, Ira Curry opted to take her share of the huge jackpot as a lump-sum payment, ending up with $173.8 Million. Ira definitely beat the Mega Millions odds when winning this amazing jackpot! 

Ira Curry, Mega Millions winner

Steve Tran from California

The other lucky player who won half of the $648 Million jackpot was Steve Tran from San Jose, California. He was on holiday when he bought his ticket, so he didn’t check the Mega Millions results immediately after the draw. He eventually heard on the news that one of the ticket holders was from San Jose. This is when he remembered to check the numbers on his ticket. When he discovered that he won he hugged his wife and then sent a message to his manager to announce his resignation: “I’m really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”

5 - $543 Million scooped on July 24, 2018

In the draw of July 24, 2018, a syndicate consisting of 11 co-workers from California bought the only winning ticket! Together, they won a Mega Millions jackpot initially estimated at $520 Million which grew to an amazing $543 Million because of the massive ticket sales. As it usually happens with lotto winners, the syndicate opted for the cash payout ending up with $320.5 Million each.

Ronald Reyes was the syndicate representative who came forward to start the prize collection process on behalf of the entire group. He explained that the co-workers don’t plan on quitting their jobs, as they want to continue working together regardless of their enormous win. Mr. Reyes also mentioned that all of them love the company they work for and everything they built together.

Enrie's Liquor, Mega Millions winner

6 - $536 Million scooped on July 8, 2016

Another huge first prize won by a single ticket! The amazing 2016 jackpot was won by the Waters family who purchased their ticket at a local gas station. They were on their way to a sports camp and stopped along the way and bought a few Mega Millions tickets. This inspired decision was life-changing for the Waters family, as they became millionaires overnight!

As a matter of fact, the couple actually forgot about their Mega Millions tickets. They found them by accident and decided to check the numbers. You can imagine their surprise when they saw that one of the tickets had the winning numbers and earned them $536 million. The family from Indiana decided to stay as far away from the press as possible to maintain a “sense of normalcy” for the sake of their children.

Biggest Mega Millions Jackpots FAQs

We compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions on the biggest Mega Millions jackpots right here:

  • What is the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won?

    The largest Mega Millions jackpot worth $1.537 Billion was scooped on October 23, 2016 by a ticket from South Carolina.

  • Who won the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever?

    An anonymous winner from South Carolina scooped the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever! This lucky winner that chose to remain anonymous scooped no less than $1.537 Billion!

  • When was the biggest Mega Millions jackpot scooped?

    The biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever, amounting to $1.537 Billion was scooped on October 23, 2016 by a single ticket sold in South Carolina.

  • Is it true that the 5 biggest Mega Millions jackpots ever scooped all exceed $500 Million (or half a billion $)?

    Yes, the 5 biggest jackpots scooped at Mega Millions all exceed half a billion dollars, to even reach a billion and a half dollars!

All these stories prove to you that luck is unpredictable, so you can’t ever know when it will strike. All Mega Millions winners share a sense of determination to keep playing and the strong belief that their effort will eventually pay off. Why shouldn’t you join the Mega Millions Winners Hall of Fame? All you have to do is start playing for a chance to become the next Mega Millions jackpot winner, all you need to do is start playing! Get your lottery ticket online right away & don't waste any more time! If you want to learn more about this amazing game, we advise you to read our Mega Millions guide

The Mega Millions constantly boasts mouth-watering jackpots which attract millions of players who dream of winning big. The success stories above are the only proof you need that the odds can be beaten. Try your luck, the sky is the limit when it comes to the Mega Millions jackpots!