The PA Lottery’s single largest jackpot of all time still lingers in recent memory. In May of 2021, a single ticket sold in Levittown hit the huge Mega Millions prize that would become the largest jackpot ever hit in PA.
The top five PA jackpots have some things in common. For one, they all came from the multi-state draw games. These games are harder to win than PA-only games, but with many more players chipping in toward the top prize, the payoffs can be astronomical.
Here are the top five PA Lottery jackpots of all time. We’ve omitted top prizes that were hit by more than one ticket and were therefore split by multiple winners in different states.
Top PA Lottery jackpots
No. 1 lottery jackpot: $516 million
Even though the winners of this prize took the cash option of $349.3 million before taxes, it’s still the largest prize ever won in PA. A group of five individuals in Bucks County went in on the single ticket that hit the Mega Millions jackpot on May 21, 2021.
It was the third Mega Millions Top Prize won so far in PA. The winning group formed a trust to accept the prize money, in order to keep their identities under the radar.
No. 2 lottery jackpot: $456.7 million
A single Powerball ticket hit this big win on March 17, 2018. At that time, it was the highest jackpot ever awarded in the state. Sold at a Speedway station in Manheim, Lancaster County, it was the state’s 18th Powerball jackpot win.
This winner also took the cash option, and formed a trust to protect their identity. Before taxes, they enjoyed a pay day of $273.9 million.
No. 3 lottery jackpot: $213.2 million
Let’s hop in the way-back machine for this one. Back in 2004, an out-of-state couple crossed the border to buy Powerball tickets for the May 8 drawing. With Powerball not yet available in their home state of New Jersey, Steve & Kristine White made a special stop in the Keystone State to take a swing at what would turn out to be the largest jackpot hit in PA up to that point.
No. 4 lottery jackpot: $172.7 million
A group of 48 (yes, 48!) co-workers at SEPTA in Philadelphia hit this Powerball jackpot on April 25, 2012. The employees of the regional transit authority in Center City opted for the lump-sum cash payout of $107 million. Slicing that big pie into a lot of pieces left each member with about $2.4 million before taxes.
No. 5 lottery jackpot: $171.4 million
This was the second-highest jackpot hit in PA in 2004 (see above), and the third out of four Powerball jackpots that would be hit in PA that year. The three-person group that bought the single winning ticket formed a trust to claim the cash prize of $93.4 million.
What game has more big winners?
You might have noticed most of the top jackpots in the state of Pennsylvania came from Powerball tickets. There have been 18 Powerball jackpot winners in the state of Pennsylvania since the game debuted in 2002. PA has only seen three Mega Millions jackpot winners.
The most obvious reason for this disparity is that Powerball has been sold in PA for eight years longer than Mega Millions, which debuted here in 2010. Since 2010, there have been five Powerball jackpot winners in the state. Only two of those made the list.
Online tickets offer a chance at the same huge jackpot prizes
Tickets sold online make up only a small portion of overall ticket sales. While no one has hit a Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot with an online ticket yet, you have the same chances at winning when buying online that you do when you buy at a retailer.
The largest online prize won so far at the PA iLottery was $4 million on a Mega Millions ticket that matched the first five balls in the Jan. 18 drawing. The race is on to see who will be the first jackpot winner to buy their ticket online.
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