We have all imagined what we would do if we won some millions of dollars in the lottery. What would you do if you suddenly became a multimillionaire? Quit the job, buy a house, help a charity, or perhaps travel the world? Some people were even luckier and won the highest prizes ever paid in a lottery, all of them in the last decade.
Some people would also be surprised to know that the final amount people receive includes a lot of taxes. But still enough money to change your life forever. Keep scrolling and find out the ten highest prizes paid on the lottery.
10 $564.1 Million - Powerball
Marie Holmes saw her life change forever in 2015 when she won the $564.1 million jackpot. "I started screaming and jumping around," Holmes said on CBS News. "I said to my kids, 'You just don't understand what this means. It's not going to change the person that I am, but it is going to change our situation."
The single mother of two girls decided to receive the total amount at once, and she got $127 million. Holmes also affirmed she would donate part to charity.
9 $587 Million - Powerball
In 2012, Matthew Good, from Phoenix, claimed the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot. He chose to receive $192 million at once, instead of the total amount in annual installments. He didn't want to be under the spotlight and didn't want to give interviews. He tried to remain anonymous.
"We are extremely grateful and feel fortunate to now have an increased ability to support our charities and causes," he said in a statement. "Obviously, this has been incredibly overwhelming, and we have always cherished our privacy."
8 $590.5 Million - Powerball
Can you image winning $590.5 million and don't have to share it? Gloria C. Mackenzie was the winner of the highest single prize paid until 2012. The record was broken a few years later by another name on this list. The 84 years old winner, decided to have a $370 million in cash instead of having the full amount in 30 annual payments.
According to Business Insider, another customer said he let Gloria cut the line, and he lost the chance to have the winning ticket. Probably a regret he will carry forever.
7 $648 Million - Mega Millions
Can you imagine to wake up so wealthy that you can just call and say you quit? That was what happened. Ira Curry and Steve Tran had to share the $648 million prize of Mega Millions in December 2013.
Ira Curry claimed the prize straight away, but it took Tran 16 days until he realized he had the winning ticket since he was traveling. As soon as he was aware he was a multimillionaire, he quit work. "I'm really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot. I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow or ever," he said.
6 $656 Million - Mega Millions
Mega Millions game's $654 million jackpot in 2012 was one of the biggest in history. Three tickets shared the prize. The first ones to claim the money was the couple Merle and Patricia Butler. "I thought, 'I might win something," Merle Butler said at the news conference. "The further I went, the more they matched. After I looked at it for a couple of minutes, I turned to my wife and said, 'We won.'"
However, not all the winners like publicity. The second ticket belongs to three friends from Maryland who identify themselves as The Three Amigos. The last winner is still unknown.
5 $687.8 Million - Powerball
After 21 weeks without a winner, two people won the $687.8 million jackpot on Powerball in October 2018. Each of them could withdraw $198.1 million or receive $343.9 million in annual payments. There is no information about their decision.
"Winners are surprised by how much is withheld in taxes from the initial payment, and then how much more is owed with they file their taxes the following year," said Jason Kurland, a partner at Rivkin Radler, a law firm in New York, told CNBC.
4 $758.7 Million - Powerball
Mavis L. Wanczyk of Chicopee, Massachusetts, was the only lucky winner of the Powerball jackpot in August 2017, which made her the newest millionaire in the US. After taxes, she received $480.5 million — more than enough to live the rest of her life without thinking about money.
Wanczyk was also another winner who wanted to retire early and called work as soon as she heard about her millions. "I've called them and told them I will not be coming back," she told NBC. Can you blame her? It sounds great.
3 $768.4 Million - Powerball
Manuel Franco had one financial goal: save $1.000 in his bank account. However, he managed to have much more than this after winning $768.4 million early this year on Powerball. It was a large sum to win playing the lottery, one of the largest. Franco officially received his payment in April of 2019. Congratulation to the lucky winner are clearly in order!
2 $1.537 Billion - Mega Million
In October 2018, Mega Million confirmed that just one ticket won the $1.537 billion jackpot, the highest prize paid by Mega Million so far. The winner could choose to receive $878 million at once or the full amount paid in annual installments for 29 years ( $53 million per year).
The winner is from South Carolina, and according to the estate rules, there is the option to remain anonymous. So there are high chances we never know who is the new multimillionaire. There is also no information about how the person decided to take the prize.
1 $1.586 Billion - Powerball
The biggest lottery prize ever happened in January 2016. Three lucky winners shared the $1.586 billion prize, which means $533 million before taxes. It is enough money to live the rest of your life without worrying about the bills.
But some of the winners also use the money to support good causes. One of the winners made a generous donation to help the hurricane victims in Alabama this year. The name of the donor and the amount remain a secret.
The lucky numbers were 5-28-62-65-70, and the Mega Ball was 5.