Our reasons for playing the lottery are as different and diverse as we are. Whether you play to take a break from your job, to fund the holiday of a lifetime or simply for the fun of playing, we all have the lottery in common. Now that the digital age gives us opportunities to play different lotteries from all over the world, we have more chances than ever to become a multimillionaire.
Over the years we’ve seen some enormous payouts and some incredibly happy people. Let’s take a look at some of the luckiest lottery winners of the past decade and just how life-changing their prizes were...
Let’s start with a win that put the power in US Powerball. Back in 2009, 23-year-old Niel Wanless from Mission, S.D. transformed his life after winning an incredible $232 million US Powerball jackpot in June of that year. The young rancher chose the $88.5 million lump sum to help his struggling family and rejuvenate the family’s ailing ranch.
You don’t need to cross the Atlantic to find a huge win. October 2010 saw some of the biggest wins in Euromillions history in the UK. An anonymous winner pocketed over £113 million. In the same year, another anonymous winner won over £84 million while a Wiltshire White Van Man named Neil Page pocketed over £56 million.
In January of 2011, Jim and Carolyn McCullar, of Ephrata, Washington, won the Mega Millions jackpot of $380 million. Still, the couple was adamant that the money wouldn’t go towards treating themselves but would be a legacy that gets passed down to the family’s future generations.
In March 2012 the Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million was claimed by three lucky parties. The first was Merle and Patricia Butler of Illinois who claimed $218.6 million of the winnings. The second was an anonymous player in Kansas and the third was a trifecta of school employees known only as “The Three Amigos”.
Another Mega Millions success story. In December 2013 the jackpot was shared by Ira Curry of Georgia and Steve Tran of California. Tran reportedly called his boss to say “I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow or ever.”. The gift shop that sold Tran’s ticket was also given a $1m perk.
Del Boy isn’t the only Trotter in London who found success in the new millennium. Car mechanic and part-time racing driver Neil Trotter, picked up a massive £107.9 million EuroMillions jackpot on March 14, 2014 along with his partner Nicky Ottaway. At the time it was the 4th largest win in UK history.
In February 2015 the US Powerball prize sat at $564.1 million was shared between three winners from North Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico. The only winner to identify themselves was Marie Holmes from North Carolina.
On 8th of July 2016 there was just one winner of the enormous $536 million Mega Millions jackpot. The huge payout went to the Warren family of Indiana who became the largest single ticket sweepstake winner.
Another lone ticket holder who won big this decade, Jeff Lindsay of California won a staggering $447.8 million jackpot with US Powerball. He became the 7th biggest winner in the history of the US Powerball multi-state lottery.
One of the most recent wins was also the biggest. A single winner in South Carolina matched all six numbers in the almost $1.6bn Mega Millions draw.
So far the biggest win of the year was a single unidentified US Powerball winner who pocketed a $768.4 million jackpot.
If it happened to all these people, it can happen for you!
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