Largest Lottery Wins and What the Winners Are Doing Now

Investments and hard work are the most common ways of making money and becoming wealthy. It is however not the only way. Playing the lottery is the other way of guaranteeing you riches without a hassle.

Although many people out there have no idea how to win the lottery, there have been tons of  lottery winners who struck big only to lose it all, some translating into losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Considering the amount of money capable of being won, the winners can choose between receiving their winnings as a lump sum, minus federal and state taxes or as annual allotments.

Regardless, the whole idea is that money has been won and is at your disposal in terms of how you intend to make use of it.

Here is a review of four of lotto winners who bagged some of the largest lottery wins in history and what they are doing now

$1.586 billion (Powerball)

Three players made Powerball and lottery history after winning a record-breaking jackpot amounting to $1.586 billion, after drawing on January 13.

The three lucky winners will each part with a pre-tax total of $528.8 million.

They came from different states including, Florida, Tennessee and California. John and Lisa Robinson of Munford, a couple from Tennessee, were the first to come forward to claim their share of the prize.

The family opted to go for the cash lump sum amounting to roughly $327.8 million before taxes. Despite this, John and Lisa decided to keep their jobs as a dermatologist and warehouse supervisor respectively.

They however declared to engage in numerous investment opportunities with the help of their financial and legal consultants.

David Kaltschmidt and Maureen Smith from Melbourne Beach, Florida was the second couple to come forward and claim their share of the prize.

Maureen, who has played the same numbers for over thirty years, said that she only realized that she had won, a day after the drawing.

The couple also opted for the lump sum pay, which they plan to use in investments, tax strategies and charity.

Marvin and Mae Acosta of Chino Hills, California were the last to claim their prize.

The couple also settled for the lump sum, which they intend to use to support a trust and charities sentimental to them.

$758.7 million (Powerball)


Mavis L. Wanczyk, a 52-year-old woman from Chicopee, Massachusetts broke the record after winning a total sum of $758.7 million from the Powerball lottery.

Her win  is the single largest lottery win after the $1.6 billion was shared amongst the three players.

The mother of two had been working as a nurse at the Mercy Medical Center in Springfield for over three decades.

According to her, she employed easy to use lottery strategies, since the winning ticket comprised of numbers she derived from the birthdays of some of her family members.

Mavis opted for a lump sum pay amounting to $480m before taxes. She intends to use her newfound wealth to support her two adult children, engage in investments and support various charities and organizations.

$656 million (Mega Millions)

lotto winners merle bultler

Besides Powerball, Mega Millions lottery also has its share of people who turned into mega-millionaires. Merle and Patricia Butler, a couple from Illinois was one amongst three lottery winners of a whopping $656 million.

Merle, who worked for General American Life Insurance in St. Louis for 25 years and Patricia, who worked as an IT expert opted for the lump sum pay of $218.6 million before tax.

They intended to use the money to support their children and grandchildren as well as a number of charitable organizations and trusts that are dear to them.

They also intend to buy a few properties and engage in a few investment opportunities.

A group of three, calling themselves The Amigos, working as school employees in Maryland State were the other winners of the jackpot.

They opted for the lump sum pay but declined to offer any insights on the intended use of the money.

The third winner from Kansas claimed the prize but remains anonymous.

$590.5 million (Powerball)

Gloria Mackenzie, an 84-year-old woman from Florida became the second largest winner of lottery jackpot after winning a record $590.5 million.

The mother of four, grandmother and great-grand mother opted for a lump sum pay amounting to $370.8 million before tax drew her ticket almost 40 miles away from home to win the jackpot.

She intended to use her newfound wealth to support her entire family, invest in various fields and support trusts and charities.

Considering that she lived in a somewhat filthy abode and drove an old Ford Focus, Gloria also intended to upgrade herself by purchasing a new home and car.

Her neighbors praised her as a quiet and happy woman who deserved to win.

Lottery Winners Who Blew It All

Out of Luck Lotto Winners

We all at some point have wondered how to win the lottery, and what we would do with our prize if we had won. Any reasonable human being would tell you not to spend it all.

But for some of the winners, instead of making their lives better, the Lottery win only seemed to make it worse.

Here are some of the lucky/unlucky ones, some of the largest wins recorded in the lottery.


Lara and Roger Griffiths – $2.76 Million

Every couple dreams of buying their dream home and then maybe later, their dream car.

For this couple, it was almost a no-brainer to buy both once they hit the jackpot.

Unfortunately, a dream car and home don’t always translate into a dream marriage, and 6 years after their big win, the couple divorced.

To make matters worse, their million-dollar home burned down in a freak accident.

William “Bud” Post – $16.2 Milllion

Within a year of winning, Bud Post found himself deeply in debt.

An ex-girlfriend filed a case against him and got a good chunk of his big win.

His own brother hired a man to try to kill him, hoping to cash in as well. He continued living in debt and spent time in jail for assaulting his debt collector.

Today, he lives a quiet life and earns a much smaller $450 a month.

Andrew Jackson Whittaker, Jr. – $114Million

If anyone can tell you how to play the powerball lottery, it’s this guy.

In 2002, this building contractor struck gold by winning multistate Powerball draw, bringing home over 100 million after taxes.

Sadly, that’s as far as his luck would take him as he eventually lost his money to thieves and lawsuits within just 4 years.

Vivian Nicholson – £152,300 (UK GBP)

Vivian Nicholson won a small fortune, but eventually blew it all on designer clothes.

Today she is unemployed, now living as a Jehovah’s witness.

She has also been widowed and was several times divorced.


Rhoda and Alex Toth – $13 Million

15 years after their win in 1990, the couple were reportedly bankrupt.

They were also accused of tax evasion by the IRS.

Michael Caroll – $15 Million

The humble garbageman got caught up in the high life of money and sex, eventually resulting in him losing all of his winnings within just 5 years.

As far as we’ve heard, he is hoping to get his old job back.

Martyn and Kay Tott – $5 Million

When researching lottery strategies that really work, rule 1 should be, “Keep your

Unluckily for this young couple, they overlooked this bit of common sense, so their prize remained unclaimed for several weeks.

The couple later said that this caused terrible stress for them and their marriage.

Ibi Roncaioli – $5 Million

When she won the Lotto 648 drawing in Ontario, Ibi Roncaioli didn’t tell her husband about her prize.

Instead she gave a portion of it to a secret child she had with another man.

Angry, her husband Joseph poisoned her with painkillers, resulting in her death.