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Powerball or Else

Updated on March 4, 2017


We will start with Powerball, the biggest lottery of them all, as per statistics online and in the media. The Powerball lottery does boast the biggest draw in history, at a cool $1.6 billion. However, this was not won by one ticket holder and was, in fact, shared between three winning tickets. A 70 year old lady from Florida, Maureen Smith, claimed her third of the prize money. Maureen told the media that she had played the same numbers in the lottery for years and in every draw. John and Lisa Robinson appeared on the Today show shortly after claiming their third of the winnings. They had decided to forsake the $528.8 million share, and instead opted to accept the lump sum amount of $327.8 million. The final third of the prize money was claimed by Mae and Marvin Acosta, who declined to speak to the media. This enormous draw was won in January 2016, and historically, is the biggest draw of any lottery across the globe.

While Mae and Marvin Acosta declined to speak to the media they did issue a statement as follows, "While we are very grateful for the wonderful wishes and encouragement we’ve received, it is not our intention to become public figures, and we ask for and appreciate privacy going forward". This unique couple waited 6 months to come forward and collect their massive win, and, like thir co winners, the Robinsons, also decided to accept the one off payment of $327.8 million. However, what is unique about the Acosta's, is that they waited 6 months while studying the Powerball winners handbook, and putting things in place, as recommended in the handbook. This included assembling a legal team to represent them and advise on the best strategies for the money.

The Robinsons were the first to collect, within a few days of the draw. At the advice of their lawyer they took the controversial plan of appearing on the Today show prior to collecting their winnings, in the view that this publicity would give them more control of the media in the long run. The couple stated that they would be continuing to work despite their winnings.

Maureen Smith, along with husband David Kaltschmidt, took one month to collect their part. They both agreed that it was a very stressful time, and Maureen biggest fear was that the money would change her to be "not as nice". David would use the money to buy a new vehicle as his truck was old and falling apart. He would also retire and enjoy his retirement with his wife, while working with some of their favorite charities, and investments.

From what is available online of these three winners, it appears they are all very nice people, and in all cases their neighbors have stated their excitement for the winners, while it was well deserved.

Powerball Record Jackpot Wins

Jackpot Amount ($)
Where - State
January 2016
May 2013
November 2012
February 2015
July 2016


Following from the Powerball lotto, it appears that the next biggest lottery on this earth is Mega Millions, which, like Powerball, is also American based. In March 2012 the Mega Millions hit a record, at the time, of $656 million. Mega Millions stated at the time that this was the largest single lottery Jackpot anywhere in the world. Similarly to the giant Powerball lotto win, this was also divided between three winning tickets.

One of the three tickets was purchased in Kansas, and as Kansas is one of the only states which allows winners to remain anonymous, the identity of the winner(s) has remained that way. Of the other two tickets, the first to come forward was a syndicate, who called themselves "the three amigos". On 10th April 2012 they arried at lotto headquarters to collect their share, $158 million. This would equate to $35 million each after taxes. The three friends, a woman in her 20's, man in his 40's and another woman in her 50's, had put their resources together to buy 60 tickets, one of which would make them extremely rich.

The last of the three winners were Merle and Patricia Butler, a retired couple from Maryland. They showed up on 18th April 2012, along with a lawyer, to take away their portion of the massive winnings.Like many other winners the Butlers took time to seek legal advice, and also opted to take the lump sum payment. Mr Butler stated that when he told his wife they had won, she giggled for hours. Being retired, they decided to work with some local charities and of course to spend their time and money on their family, including their grandchildren.

How often do you play the lottery

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Megamillions Record Jackpot wins

Jackpot Amount ($)
Where - State
March 2012
December 2013
July 2016
March 2014
March 2007


Lets leave the United States of America now and take a trip to Europe. The Euromillions draw, which has nine countries participating, is the largest European Lottery. The problem in creating an account of the Euromillions winners is that, it appears outside of the UK, the winners remain anonymous. For instance the largest winning ticket, €190m, was bought in Portugal to an Anonymous winner, while the 4th biggest recorded win was another anonymous ticket, worth €169,837,010 and purchased in France.

Of the information we do have, the 3rd biggest win was to Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from the UK, who were lucky enough to take home £148,656,000, in August 2012. They stated when collecting their winnings that this would change their lives dramatically. Adrain owned a small music shop and returned to work a few days after collecting the cheque, while his wife, Gillian worked in the local hospital as a Nursing assistant. In the period directly after winning this enormous amount, is looked as if the couple were going to keep their feet firmly on the Ground. They celebrated the win with a family holiday to a caravan part in the UK. A lot has been written of the couples fortunes in the years after they became the biggest ever UK euromillions winners. Ultimately their the couple were separated, and now live at opposite ends of the UK, Gillian moving back to her homeland in Scotland while Adrian remains in the family home in Suffolk.

In July 2012, Colin and Chris Weir from Scotland, became the winners of the 2nd biggest recorded Euromillions jackpot of GBP 161,653,000.00 million. Colin, a retired Cameraman and his Wife Chris, a retired Psychiatric Nurse, have used their money to Move to a new home, while also setting up a charitable trust and putting money into local clubs and organisations. Notable, their ticket was a Quick Pick.

Euromillions Record Jackpot Wins

Jackpot Amount
Where - Country
October 2014
EU 190,000,000.00
August 2012
GDP 161,653,000.00
July 2013
GDP 148,656,000.00
November 2012
EU 169,837,010.00
October 2016
EU 169,085,323.00

Summary of winners

In the three lotteries i have mentioned above there are 7 winners, who we have various amounts of information about:

  1. A 70 year old lady from Florida, Maureen Smith
  2. John and Lisa Robinson
  3. Mae and Marvin Acosta
  4. The 3 amigos, a woman in her 20's, man in his 40's and another woman in her 50's
  5. Merle and Patricia Butler, a retired couple from Maryland
  6. Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from the UK
  7. Colin and Chris Weir, a retired couple from Scotland

I note that at least 4 our of the 7 winners were retired. Does that mean you have a better chance of winning if you are retired? Probably not, and when your luck is in its in no matter who or where you are in life. There are many many articles written about the probabilities of winning, and how you can increase the likelihood of being one of the lucky ones. I will leave you with one piece of advice, read all you want to on the subject, but the one and only sure way of increasing your chances of winning......and this is a well known secret......BUY A TICKET!!


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