LOTTERY WINNERS AROUND THE WORLD
Buckle up, we're going to take you on an around-the-world tour of the globe's greatest lotteries and their biggest winners. Imagine the moment you realize your life, as you know it, has changed forever. Get ready to envy-binge your heart out.
Here's a quick look at the greatest lottery offerings and the folks who took them home.
The $785 million Powerball, United States
The single largest jackpot winner in American history is Mavis Wanczyk. On August 23rd, 2017 Mavis from Chicopee, Massachusetts took home $758 million and her life changed forever. The winning ticket (6, 7, 16, 23, 26, and Powerball number 4) was purchased at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Mavis plays her own numbers and says she chooses them at random, using special dates like birthdays. Mavis found out she was the winner while leaving work, and very quickly decided she wasn't going back. The 53-year old immediately quit her job. Mavis was in so much shock she told reporters "I couldn't drive anywhere. I couldn't do anything."
The €2.5 billion El Gordo, Spain
El Gordo translates to 'The Fat One' in English because of its large bounty. It boasts players from over 140 countries, which can't be far from the truth because a Senegalese man won €400,000 in 2016. The Spanish Christmas Lottery has been around since 1812, and consistently offers jackpots in the billions!
The last time the jackpot was this high was in 2012. El Gordo brings in such large jackpots because of the odds structure and because it consistently dishes out smaller, six-figure prizes to thousands of people. In 2016, a town of 1,650 people won really big and each received roughly €418,000. The magical part of this story is that a single ticket vendor in Madrid sold all 1,650 tickets.
The £161 million EuroMillions, Europe
If you haven't heard of the EuroMillions, brace yourself. In 2011, a British couple from Largs in Ayrshire, Scotland took home the jackpot prize of £161 million, which like Canada is tax-free. Colin and Chris Wier joked their way through the interviews and Colin stated he had no plans to trade in his Suzuki Ignis. After finding out the great news, the couple sat up until 4am and shared a bottle of wine. The couple said they would travel, sponsor a young racecar driver, and make political contributions. To this day the Wiers hold the title of the UK's biggest lottery winners.
The $70 million OZ Lotto, Australia
A group of Queensland ladies won big in 2013, taking home $70 million from the Oz Lotto. The syndicate of friends bought the lucky ticket after having lunch at Runaway Bay. The ladies decided to spend their loose change on a lottery ticket, never really expecting to win Australia's largest payout in history. Apparently, it took a while for the women to claim their prize because they were in so much shock.
The €177 million SuperEnalotto, Italy
SuperEnalotto is the most popular national lottery game in Italy and is played by millions of people every week, which is no surprise. The SuperEnalotto is similar to the EuroMillions and has no jackpot cap, so you can only imagine how high that jackpot could grow! In 2010, one ticket paid out a first prize of €177 million to 70 lucky winners. And, in 2009 one lucky member took home €148 million.
Given that we can't compete with some of the biggest jackpots in the world, we're still doing pretty well! In 2017 Marcello Battiston took home $25,899,520, Kurt and Marlis Gebeshuber took home $9,359,344.90, and Siriphone Johnson took home a $1,000,000 LottoMax win. In the last year alone BC lottery winners have taken home a total of $563 million in winnings.