The last eighteen months have brought a lot of unique challenges on both a global and personal level.
While it’s easy to dwell on the hard times, there are some people who have experienced life-changing joys in the past year and a half.
In this article, we’ll share some of the good that has happened in recent months, recounting stories about the biggest lottery winners during COVID-19.
- Mega Millions – $1.05 Billion
This year started off with a bang when there was finally a winner for the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot.
The winning draw was held on January 22, 2021, with only a single ticket as the winner.
The ticket was sold in Michigan, making the prize the largest in Michigan Lottery history. The jackpot is the third-largest in US history, and the second-largest cash value prize for a single ticket.
The prize was claimed by a lotto syndicate called The Wolverine FLL Club, which had four members.
They chose the lump-sum payout, which equaled $776 million. After taxes, the winners took home an incredible $557 million.
- Powerball – $731.1 Million
January was a huge month for lottery enthusiasts, as Powerball also had a huge jackpot up for grabs.
Just one day before the record-breaking Mega Millions draw, Powerball held their own.
On January 20, 2021, a single ticket sold in Maryland matched the winning numbers for a $731.1 million prize.
The jackpot was the largest prize in Maryland Lottery’s history, and is the 3rd largest cash value for a single ticket.
The prize wasn’t claimed until months later, in May. It was revealed then that the ticket was purchased by another small lottery syndicate.
The group of three winners, who nicknamed themselves The Power Pack, decided to take the lump-sum payout.
After taxes, the trio took home $366.6 million.
- Mega Millions – $516 Million
The ninth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history was also won this year.
The May 21, 2021, draw reached an impressive $516 million. The cash option amounts to $349.3 million.
The winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Levittown, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, the winner of this draw still hasn’t come forward to claim it.
If you bought a ticket in Levittown with the numbers 6, 9, 17, 18, 48 with the Megaball 8, then you’ve got a big prize waiting for you!
- Mega Millions – $414 Million
A Mega Millions winner broke another record on June 9, 2020.
The $414 million jackpot was the first one in the game’s history to be won in Arizona.
The draw was won by a couple from Glendale after they bought their ticket from a Circle K.
The couple chose the lump-sum payout, which equaled $319.9 million. After tax, they took home approximately $227.8 million.
Though they chose to remain anonymous, they did share that they had been playing the lottery for 38 years. The win happened just a month before the woman’s birthday.
The jackpot was the 11th highest in Mega Millions’ history.
- Powerball – $285.6 Million
More than a year into the pandemic, another winner’s life was changed forever.
Clay Tousey of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, collected the prize on behalf of The Love You More Trust as its trustee.
The prize for the June 5, 2021, Powerball draw was awarded as a cash payment of $196,706,252.17.
The winning ticket was sold at a Circle K in Jacksonville. The owner of the store also became a lucky winner, being awarded $100,000 by the Florida Lottery for the sale.
- Powerball – $235.4 Million
Florida Lottery players have been extra lucky this year, with another big jackpot going to a young player in the Sunshine State.
Thomas Yi of Land O’ Lakes was only 23 years old when he claimed his prize for the March 27, 2021, draw.
Yi is the youngest Powerball jackpot winner in Florida Lottery history.
He said he was in disbelief when he saw that he’d matched all the numbers for the $234.5 million prize.
He decided to take the lump-sum prize, which totaled $160,038,447.27.
Despite the life-changing sum, Yi says he still plans to pursue his education with a degree in either business or the medical field.
Terri Watkins might not have won a huge jackpot, but she has a feel-good winner’s story nonetheless.
The nurse, who had been working with COVID patients at a long-term care home, had been praying for a blessing.
After just under a year of working on the frontlines of the pandemic, she received just that in January 2021.
Her losing ticket had been entered into a second-chance drawing by the North Carolina Education Lottery. She was over the moon when she received the call that she’d beat out 513,000 other players to win the $1 million prize.
She opted for the lump-sum payment, taking home about $424,500 after tax.
The pandemic has undoubtedly changed many lives across the globe, albeit most often not for the better.
However, these lucky lottery winners show that there is always a chance for new beginnings, even in the toughest of times.
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