There are many different types of lotteries, from the small tombola arranged by the local soccer club to lotteries with enormous jackpots. Today, lottery tickets can be purchased online as well as offline, and there are some lotteries that have no physical tickets at all.
If you’re looking for a big lottery jackpot, always check the fine print before you decide where to gamble. Here are two examples of important aspects:
- Will the jackpot be paid out to you right away in a lump sum if you win, or will it be distributed to you in installments? Generally speaking, big lump sum jackpots are more common in Europe, while big jackpots paid out over time (sometimes 30 years or more) are more common in the United States. The situation in rest of the world varies on a country-to-country basis.
It is also good to know that for some lottery jackpots, the winner will be given a choice. You either accept to get your money paid out in several installments over time, or you chose to get a lump sum right now that is considerably smaller than the full jackpot amount.
- Will you be taxed on your jackpot win? How much? Even if you aren’t taxed on the income, will owning such a large amount of money make you qualify for equity tax?
Examples of lotteries with big jackpots
Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad – Spanish Christmas Lottery
This is a Spanish state-run lottery known for both its enormous first prize and for its big overall prize pot. In 2014, the draw (which took place on December 22) distributed a total of €2,24 billions in prizes. The jackpot consisted of €640 millions, but it should be noted that this jackpot was spread over 160 winning tickets with each ticket receiving €4 millions.
Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad, also known as Loteria de Navidad (Christmas lottery), is a lottery designed to spread the winnings over many tickets rather than give away an enormous jackpot to one winner. The chance of at least getting your money back from a ticket is 1 in 7.
Read more about the Spanish Christmas Lottery
Mega Millions (United States)
Mega Millions is offered in 44 states in the USA, as well as in District of Columbia and on the U.S. Virgin Islands. It succeeded The Big Game, and was originally known as The Big Game Mega Millions.
The minimum Mega Millions jackpot is 15 million USD. If you win the jackpot, it is paid out in 30 yearly installments. You can chose an instant cash option, but it will be smaller than the full jackpot.
- In the March 30, 2012, drawing there were three jackpot-winning tickets. The total jackpot was $565 million USD annuity value, with an instant cash option of $474 million. The winners were located in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois. All three of them chose the instant cash option and got $158 million each.
- In the November 4, 2014, drawing there was only one jackpot-winning ticket. The ticket was purchased in New York and the winner received $326 million USD annuity value.
Powerball (United States)
Powerball is a lottery in the United States. Tickets are sold in 44 states, in the District of Columbia, in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) coordinates the lottery.
The Powerball jackpot is always at least 40 million USD annuity value.
- On May 18, 2013, 84 year old Gloria C.MacKenzie won a Powerball jackpot with a $590,500,000 USD annuity value. She had bought her ticket in Florida. She chose the instant cash option and received roughly 370,800,000 USD.
Read more about Powerball
EuroMillions is a transnational lottery. It was formed in 2004 byFrançaise des Jeux (France), Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (Spain) and Camelot (United Kingdom). Since then, lottery organizers in many other European countries have joined the project. The drawing takes place Tuesday and Friday night at 20:45 CET.
- On October 24, 2014, a player won a €190 million EuroMillions jackpot. The winner elected to remain anonymous. The ticket had been purchased in Castelo Branco, Portugal.
- On August 10, 2012, Adrian and Gillian Bayford in Haverhill, UK won a €190 million (£148,656,000) EuroMillions jackpot. They had purchased their ticket in the United Kingdom.
Read more about EuroMillions
EuroJackpot is a transnational lottery. It was launched in 2012 by a group of national lottery organizations worried about losing gamblers to the EuroMillions lottery, since EuroMillions – due to its multinational nature – could offer larger jackpots than those typically offered by national lotteries in Europe. National lottery organizations in a long row of European countries quickly joined the EuroJackpot project after its premier in 2012.
The EuroJackpot jackpot starts at €10 million and is capped at €90 million. The drawing takes place in Helsinki (Finland) every Friday at 21:00 EET.
- On May 15, 2015, a EuroJackpot player won a €90 million jackpot. The ticket had been sold in the Czech Republic.
- On September 12, 2014, a EuroJackpot player won a €61,170,752 jackpot. The ticket had been sold in Finland.
- On December 5, 2014, a EuroJackpot player won a €58,693,173 jackpot. The ticket had been sold in Germany.
Read more about EuroJackpot
SuperEnalotto is a popular Italian lottery, where draws take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Enalotto has existed since the 1950’s, and was replaced by SuperEnalotto in 1997. Until June 30, 2009, Enalotto / SuperEnalotto did not have any drawing of its own. Instead, the winning numbers were taken from regional Lottomatica draws.
- On October 30, 2010, a syndicate of 70 winners won a €177,8 million SuperEnalotto jackpot.
- On August 22, 2009, a player in Bagnone won a €147,8 million SuperEnalotto jackpot.
Read more about SuperEnalotto (Italy)
Lotto 6aus49 (Germany)
Lotto 6aus49 is one Germany’s largest national lottery. Drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The jackpot is never smaller than €1 on a Wednesday and never smaller than €2 on a Saturday.
- In December 2007, three tickets shared a Lotto 6aus49 jackpot of €43 382 458.
- In October 2006, one ticket won a Lotto 6aus49 jackpot of €37 688 292.
Read more about Lotto 6aus49
Lotto (United Kingdom)
Lotto (The National Lottery) is a state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man. The Camelot Group has the license to operate this lottery. The lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission, which is a part of the Gambling Commission.
- On January 6, 1996, three tickets shared a jackpot comprised of £42 million.
- On June 1995, a single ticket won a jackpot comprised of £22.6 million. The winning ticket was owned by Paul Maddison and Mark Gardiner.
Read more about the National Lottery
Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (the Netherlands)
Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (SENS) has its roots in a lottery (Generaliteitsloterij) founded back in 1726 and is thus one of the oldest still existing lotteries in the world. There is a monthly draw, plus special draws on April 30th and December 31st. SENS benefits the Department of Finance in the Netherlands.
- The largest jackpot so far was the one awarded in the May 2013 draw. This jackpot contained €38,4 million.
Read more about the Nederlandse Staatsloterij
Finnish national lottery (Finland)
The Finnish national lottery is organized by the national betting agency Veikkaus Oy, which is fully owned by the Finnish government. The draw was shown live on Yle TV1 until 2013, when it moved to MTV3.
- In April 2014, one ticket won a jackpot comprised of €13.3 million.
- In October 2012, one ticket won a jackpot comprised of €12.2 million.
Read more about the Finnish national lottery