Friday, July 25, 2014
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Biggest jackpots in U.S. lottery history

Mega Millions' latest top prize winds up in the Top 10 for the annuity and for cash..

Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Ill, at a news conference to announce their claim to a third of the record $656 million jackpot from the March 30, 2012, Mega Millions drawing. The other two winning tickets were sold in Maryland and Kansas.
Gallery: Winners of Giant Lottery Jackpots

Mega Millions' latest run for lottery history has ended, with two tickets hitting a jackpot that wound up set at $414 million. That's the seventh biggest annuity in American lottery history. The cash, $230.9 million, lands at No. 9.

See "Mega Millions jackpot hit twice"

The last two years have produced an entirely new top 8, including record jackpots for Powerball, Mega Millions and all U.S. lotteries, thanks to changes in the games. In early 2012, Powerball went to $2 tickets, and in October 2013, Mega Millions lengthened its odds, making jackpots much more likely to keep growing. 

Here's the list of the top 25 annuity jackpots -- 29 annual payments in Mega Millions and Powerball -- with cash payouts included (and ranked in parentheses), since almost all winners take the cash.

If this were a world-record list, No. 1 would be the 2012 Spanish Christmas Lottery, which awarded $950 million to 180 winners through its top tier known as El Gordo, or "The Fat One." The 2013 top prize was $875 million, also more than any U.S. jackpot.

If two more jackpots top $300 million, the Top 25 will all have $300 million or more.

The jackpots below are all from three multistate games: Powerball, Mega Millions, and its precursor, the Big Game.

1. $656 million, Mega Millions, won March 30, 2012, by three tickets, sold in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas. Cash (1): $471 million (U.S. record for total cash all-time).

2. $648 million, Mega Millions, won Dec. 17, 2013, in Georgia and California. Cash (4): $347.6 million.

3. $590.5 million, Powerball, won May 18, 2013, in Florida. (record annuity jackpot for Powerball.) Cash (3): $370.9 million. Record for most cash collected by a single winner.

4. $587.5 million, Powerball, won Nov. 28, 2012, by two tickets, sold in Missouri and Arizona. Cash (2): $384.7 million (record all-time total cash for Powerball).

5. $448.4 million, Powerball, for Aug. 7, 2013, drawing, won by 3 tickets, 2 of them in New Jersey, one in Minnesota. Cash (5): $258.2 million.

6. $425.4 million, Powerball, won Feb. 19, 2014, in California. Cash (6): $242.2 million.

7. $414 million, Mega Millions, won March 18, 2014, by 2 tickets, in Maryland and Florida.  Cash (9): $230.9 million.

8. $399.4 million, Powerball, for Sept. 18, 2013, drawing, won in South Carolina. Cash (11): $223.1 million.

9. $390 million, Mega Millions, won March 6, 2007, by 2 tickets, in Georgia and New Jersey. Cash (8): $233.1 million.

10. $380 million, Mega Millions, won Jan. 4, 2011, in Idaho and Washington State. Cash (7): $240 million.

11. $365 million, Powerball, won Feb. 18, 2006, in Nebraska. Cash (18): $177.3 million.

12. $363 million, Big Game, won May 9, 2000, by 2 tickets, in Illinois and Michigan. Cash (17): $180 million.

13. $340 million, Powerball, won Oct. 19, 2005, in Oregon. Cash (27): $164.4 million.

14. $338.3 million, Powerball, won March 23, 20013, in New Jersey. Cash (13): $211 million.

15. $337 million, Powerball, won Aug. 15, 2012, in Michigan. Cash (10): $224.6 million.

16. $336.4 million, Powerball, won Feb. 11, 2012, in Rhode Island. Cash (14): $210 million.

17. $336 million, Mega Millions, won Aug. 28, 2009, by two tickets, in New York and California. Cash (12): $214 million.

18. $331 million, Big Game, won April 16, 2002, by three tickets, in Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey. Cash (20): $176.7 million.

19. $330 million, Mega Millions, won Aug. 31, 2007, by four tickets, in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Virginia. Cash (16): $194 million.

20. $319 million, Mega Millions, won March 25, 2011, in New York. Cash (15): $202.9 million.

21. $315 million, Mega Millions, won Nov. 15, 2005, in California. Cash (17): $184.6 million.

22. $314.9 million, Powerball, won Dec. 25, 2002, in West Virginia. Cash (21) $170.5 million.

23. $314.3 million, Powerball, won Aug. 25, 2007, in Indiana. Cash (36): $146 million.

24. $295.7 million, Powerball, won July 29, 1998, in Ohio. Cash (28): $161.5 million.

25. $294.8 million, Powerball, won Aug. 25, 2001, by four tickets, in Delaware, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Minnesota. Cash (24): $165.8 million.

For more on lotteries, go to Philly.com's lottery page, or the websites for Powerball or Mega Millions.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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