The Highest Lotto Jackpots Ever Won

Make no bones about it: matching three, four or even five lottery balls on your ticket is exciting, and the cash prizes that follow always welcome. But we all know why we play the lottery: for that chance to land the huge Lotto jackpot and completely change our lives from that day forward. Dream homes, fancy cars, idyllic holidays…all and so much more become a reality, rather than a pipedream, courtesy of the lottery. If you are somebody that considers themselves to have something of a jealous streak, you might want to look away now. Because here is a selection of some of the highest lotto jackpots ever won:

1. Share and Share Alike

One of the global lottery draws that consistently pays out the highest prizes is Spain’s Christmas lottery, known colloquially as El Gordo. In 2011 the lottery jackpot prize was a not inconsiderable £720 million, which is almost too much money if such a thing could exist. Anyway, imagine being the lucky owner of ticket number 58268, which eventually won the prize! Here’s the ‘bad news’: multiple tickets with the same number on are printed and sold, which meant that those clutching 58268 ‘only’ won £4 million each in 2011. Still, that’s a pretty good day at the office for those 180 lucky winners.

2. Top of the Rich List

To avid lottery players it will come as no surprise to learn that the Euro lottery jackpot is often the one that delivers the biggest cheques; specifically the EuroMillions draw. That was certainly the case for Colin and Christine Weir, the Scottish couple who had a flutter on the EuroMillions each week. They won the largest lottery jackpot this side of the Atlantic in 2011 – a handsome £161 million. For context, that made them instantly wealthier than the likes of Sir Tom Jones, Lord Saatchi and the Duke of Beaufort. The Weirs have been sensible with their money – usually the downfall of many a lottery winner, and set up the Weir Trust, a charitable organisation that has given away more than £5 million so far. They have also invested money in Partick Thistle FC, with the ultimate aim of making them the biggest club in Scotland. Celtic fans might have something to say about that….

3. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

A couple of cautionary tales now to bear in mind for when you land the big Lotto jackpot. Adrian and Gillian Brayford are the second highest lotto jackpot winners in UK history; a cool £148 million, give or take a few quid. With all that money, you would think the Brayfords could enjoy the rest of their days together happy and financially secure. Well…. The couple divorced a matter of months after their Lottery jackpot win, and both have since gone back to full time employment. What’s the opposite of ‘all’s well that ends well’? Dave and Angela Dawes succumbed to a similar fate. Their Euro lottery jackpot win was the fourth largest in UK history, and despite trying to steer clear of the limelight the curse of instant riches struck once again. After embarking on a hefty spending spree, the pair, who were living in a one-bedroom flat costing £70 a week at the time of their win, soon divorced and both fell into the arms of younger lovers. The reason quoted for their split? Constant arguments about how to spend the money. Still, they can always reflect upon being one of the lotto’s highest jackpot winners ever.
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