What can you do when someone slaps you with a US$380 million check? Well, don’t ask me either, I have no idea. Lottery jackpot records and games have always attracted the attention of lottery players and analysts.
Essentially, a lottery is a form of gambling run by states or organizations such as casinos and bars. Lottery games come in different ways, including instant scratch-off and win games, daily games and those that you have to pick a series of 3 or 4 numbers. The biggest games in the lottery industry include Mega Millions, Powerball and The Big Game.
Below is a list of top 5 biggest lottery winners in history ever recorded. Let’s have a close look at the names, the figures and of course their mega plans.
1. Holly Lahti, of Idaho. She won $380 Mega Millions on 4th Jan. 2011.
Lahti, as single mother who worked as a customer service representative at a bank, reportedly quit her job-and then went into hiding, practically. Her husband, Josh Lahti, shared some opinion about her wife’s winnings. “That’s awesome!… I won’t have to pay child support!”
Well, turns out Holly had some good reason to hid: Reporters did some digging and realized that the couple was actually never legally divorced, or even separated-which gave Josh, her husband, a potential legal claim on Holly Lahti’s ticket.
2. Andrew Jackson “Jack” Whittaker, Jr from West Virginia, USA: US$314.9 million.
This is perhaps the largest win ever recorded in the history of lottery jackpots as at December 25, 2002. The US$314.9 million win was recorded as the largest in the history of America lottery to be won by a single winning ticket.
Whittaker however had a few brushes with the state’s law, as well as some personal tragedies.
He however pledged 10% of the winnings to Christian charities where one of the beneficiary congregations built a multi-million dollar church in Hurricane. He also established a $14 million Jack Whittaker Foundation-a non profit making organization that provides clothing and food to low income earners in West Virginia.
To stretch the kindness a little further, he bought a $123, 000 house to a woman who worked at the convenient store where he bought the winning ticket. He also gave her $50, 000 cash.He latter had issues with the law with several connections to murder and drug abuse. His fortunes may have run a little low by now, but at least he landed on the top 5 Biggest lottery winners in history list, plus it just a lottery, not like he worked for it.
3. Patrica Butter and Merle from Illinois, three teachers from Maryland and anonymous winner from Ottawa, Kansas. They shared $656 Mega Millions Jackpot. Amounting to $218.6 million each.
Only Patrica and Merle come forward publicly to pick the harvest’, although they were coy about how they planned to spend the money. They however mentioned that they will spend a lump sum of $157 million on seeking financial advice and attorney’s services. Patricia planned to buy a new home for the couple.
4. Eddie Nabors of Georgia and Harold and Elaine of New Jersey shared the $390 millions from Mega Millions.
Eddie is, well, was a 52-year old track driver who said he had plans to buy his daughter a house; he really wanted her to move out of her mobile house. He also planned to pay mortgages for his mom, sister and family members, and to buy a fishing-boat for his son. As for himself, well, all he said was: “I’m going fishing.”
5. Carolyn McCullar and Jim of Washington won at Mega Millions on January 4, 2011: $380 million.
Before I close my Top 5 Biggest lottery winners in history, lets look at Jim and Carolyn. Jim reported in an interview that he intended to bank his lottery winnings, write some handsome checks to his six kids and donate some to charity. “I am not going to buy my own jet and fly all over the world” he told the press conference. He intended to build a legacy that could last generations after generations.
Dean is a huge fan of the lottery and maintains a weekly lotto blog – Lotto Junkie