The Biggest Jackpots Ever Offered by Lottery Games Worldwide

The Biggest Jackpots


When playing lottery games, we all want to get the biggest jackpots we can possibly get. After all, why else would we play the game except for the possibility of winning all that cash? However, in spite of the fact that we tend to think of wanting the biggest jackpots, the fact is that the numbers change every single week.

Therefore, with our list of lotteries with the biggest jackpots, we’re not necessarily going to list the games that have the biggest jackpots right now. Instead, we’re going to list the games that historically have had the biggest jackpots so that you can see which games are the ones to track. To find out if any other games have big jackpots going on right now, just check out our main page where the list of current jackpots is available.

Spanish Christmas Lottery (El Gordo)

The Spanish Christmas Lottery has by far the largest theoretical jackpot around. We say theoretical because the total jackpot, which is a whopping €2.3 billion (yes, you did indeed read that correctly – the Christmas Lottery is the only lottery in the world with a theoretical billion dollar plus jackpot) has a few caveats. First, the €2.3 billion jackpot depends on all the tickets being sold. If fewer tickets are sold, then the value of the jackpot is reduced. Second, while it’s possible for one person to win the whole thing, in practice, no one has ever won the entire jackpot all by themselves.

Mega Millions

The largest advertised jackpot ever offered in a lottery game was the American Mega Millions jackpot, which was offered in March, 2007. The actual jackpot was lower however because the ticket owner decided to take a lump sum payment instead of having the money paid out over a 20 year period (the winner walked away with “only” $233 million – somehow we doubt anyone would really complain about that).  The jackpot regularly starts at $20 million however, so it does grow quickly and it’s usually a good bet that Mega Millions will have one of the biggest jackpots available, as evidenced by the fact that Mega Millions actually had the second largest jackpot as well, $380 million.


The third largest advertised jackpot ever was the $365 million dollars, though again, the winner of that ticket also took a lump sum payment. The total payout was $177 million shared by eight co workers at a meat packing plant in Nebraska. It’s worth noting that as of January, 2012, Powerball will have the largest starting jackpot in the United States, when the starting jackpot will double to $40 million.

State Lotteries

Other American lottery games that have historically had some of the biggest jackpots are the New York Lottery, with $130 million, the California Lottery with $193 million and the New Jersey Lottery with $155 million.


Another European lottery game, Italy offered an impressive €147,807,299.08 to one lucky winner in 2009.

Euro Millions

Finally, a good bet for a massive jackpot is always the Euro Millions lottery, which is a multinational game played all over Europe. The game has historically offered some of the biggest jackpots, including, as of this writing, a €185 million jackpot in July, 2011.