The Biggest And Best Of 2024’s US Lottery Wins So Far

Erik Gibbs

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While lotteries have long been known for creating instant millionaires, 2024 has seen an exceptional number of high-value jackpots claimed across the U.S. The majority pale in comparison to the $1.3 billion win just days ago, but there have been other notable winners.

The year kicked off with a bang on Jan. 1. Thanks to the NC Education Lottery, Pamela Bradshaw won a trip to New York through the lottery’s second-chance drawing. There, she appeared on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, where she won $1 million just after the ball dropped. It was the second straight year that someone from North Carolina won the draw.

Later that day, a lucky player in Michigan purchased a winning ticket for the $842.4 million Powerball jackpot. This win marked the 10th-largest lottery payout in U.S. history (at the time) and the first time a Michigan resident had claimed such a massive prize.

That same month, someone almost collected $1.58 billion in the California Lottery. The player missed by one number, but still took home $3.3 million.

On March 26, a lucky ticket purchased at a ShopRite Liquor store in Neptune Township, New Jersey, scored the $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot. This triumph offered the winner the choice between annuity payouts or a one-time cash option of $537.5 million. However, details about the winner remain unknown a couple of weeks later, as New Jersey lottery laws allow winners to stay anonymous.

In California, on the other hand, winners must eventually come forward. This doesn’t count as a 2024 win, but it’s worth mentioning: The California Lottery finally revealed last month the winner of a record-breaking October 2023 Powerball drawing. Theodorus Struyck emerged to claim the $1.765 billion jackpot on behalf of a group of players, according to a California Lottery press release.

Winners come from all over

While the massive jackpots garner the most headlines, there have been numerous other significant lottery wins in 2024. State lotteries across the country have seen winners claim prizes exceeding $100 million. These wins, while not record-breaking, are still life-changing for the individuals involved.

Anyone, anywhere can win, but some states produce more winners than others. For example, New York takes the lead as the luckiest state, in terms of total wins, boasting a combined total of 53 Mega Millions and Powerball winners.

Following closely is California, home to the largest Powerball win at a staggering $2.04 billion. On the other hand, Florida, though among the nation’s most populous states, finds itself further down the list.

Of course, no state holds an inherent advantage in the lottery. New York and California stand out, but so does Delaware. It has the most winners per one million inhabitants, according to recent analysis.

Factors influencing state rankings include the types of lottery games available, such as scratch-offs, daily draws, and multi-state games like Powerball and Mega Millions. States with a wide variety of games tend to attract more players and consequently produce more winners.

There are still a few states that haven’t jumped on the lottery train (although some are trying), but the vast majority of U.S. residents have a chance at becoming the next millionaire — or billionaire.