The largest Powerball jackpot in history was drawn on January 13, 2016. The winning numbers were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, and Powerball 10. The massive $1.586 billion prize was split between three ticket holders from California, Florida, and Tennessee.
At the time, it set the record for the largest lottery prize ever won in the United States. The Powerball jackpot had rolled over multiple times without a winner, allowing the prize to grow to astronomical levels. Lottery fever swept the nation as people lined up to buy Powerball tickets for the chance to win the huge jackpot.
- Drawing date: January 13, 2016
- Winning numbers: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, PB: 10
- Jackpot: $1.586 billion
- Winners: 3 (from California, Florida, Tennessee)
- Cash value per winner: $327.8 million (before taxes)
- Odds of winning: 1 in 292.2 million
The colossal jackpot was the result of exceedingly long odds and continuous rollovers. Here are some key questions and answers about the record Powerball drawing:
How big was the jackpot?
The January 13, 2016 Powerball drawing held the record for the largest lottery jackpot in history at $1.586 billion.
What were the winning numbers?
The winning numbers were 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, and Powerball 10.
How many winners were there?
There were 3 winning tickets that split the record $1.586 billion jackpot.
Where were the winning tickets sold?
The jackpot was split between winners from California, Florida, and Tennessee.
What was the cash value?
Each winner’s share of the cash value was $327.8 million before taxes. The lump sum cash option was chosen.
What were the odds of winning?
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot were incredibly small – just 1 in 292.2 million.
The Lead up to the Historic Drawing
The January 2016 Powerball drawing wasn’t originally expected to be a record-breaker. The jackpot began rolling over on November 7, 2015 when a $40 million prize went unclaimed. Over the next nine weeks, no players were able to match all six numbers and the jackpot continued increasing.
Initially, the rise in the prize was relatively incremental. But as the weeks dragged on without a winner, lottery fever started taking hold across the country. By early January, the jackpot surpassed $500 million for the first time ever. Powerball ticket sales skyrocketed as more players tried to get in on the action.
As the jackpot estimate was raised again and again, the drawing gained national media attention. Lottery experts predicted that the prize could potentially cross the $1 billion threshold if there was no winner in the upcoming draw on January 13th. The stage was set for lottery history.
- November 7, 2015: Jackpot begins rolling over
- January 9: Jackpot exceeds $500 million
- January 12: Jackpot estimated at $1.4 billion
- January 13: Record $1.586 billion jackpot won
The fervor over the ever-increasing prize produced longer lines at lottery retailers and gas stations leading up to the big drawing. Social media amplified the Powerball excitement. Across the country, Americans dreamed about what they would do with the jackpot money.
At the time, only two states did not participate in Powerball – Utah and Alabama. So residents of the other 48 states, plus Washington D.C. and U.S. Virgin Islands, were eager for a chance at the top prize. Lottery players waited anxiously to see if the upcoming draw on January 13th would finally produce a winner.
The Record-Breaking January 13th Drawing
On the night of January 13, 2016, the lottery world was focused on the Powerball drawing taking place at the Florida Lottery studio in Tallahassee. The advertised jackpot was $1.4 billion, already the largest ever, but lottery officials indicated it could end up even higher depending on ticket sales.
An hour before the live broadcast, initial estimates increased the jackpot to a staggering $1.5 billion. By the time the drawing took place, the prize was announced at $1.586 billion – shattering lottery records.
- Date: January 13, 2016
- Location: Florida Lottery studio, Tallahassee FL
- Winning Numbers: 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, PB: 10
- Jackpot: $1.586 billion
The winning numbers selected that night – 4, 8, 19, 27, 34, with Powerball 10 – produced three jackpot winners. In addition to the grand prize, 8 other players matched all five white balls to win $1 million each. However, the historic headline was the world record $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot finally being hit after 20 rollovers.
The lottery announced that winning tickets had been purchased in California, Florida, and Tennessee. A married couple from Chino Hills, California; a 20-person workplace pool from Melbourne Beach, Florida; and a family from Munford, Tennessee were confirmed as the winners. But because of Powerball rules, the holders of the winning tickets could remain anonymous in claiming the money.
Cash Value vs. Annuity
Winners had two options for collecting the lump sum prize money:
- Take the cash value of $327.8 million paid as an immediate lump sum
- Collect the full $528 million in annual installments over 29 years
All three winners chose the cash option, greatly reducing the advertised $1.586 billion jackpot total after taxes. Still, the cash value per winner of $327.8 million was record-setting.
|Prize Option||Pre-Tax Value Per Winner|
|Cash Value||$327.8 million|
Splitting the prize three ways was probably disappointing to some lottery players. But each ticket holder instantly became wealthy beyond imagination by winning over $300 million. The three jackpot winners could now afford anything they ever wanted – mansions, luxury cars, extravagant vacations, and more.
Undoubtedly, the winners also faced big decisions about managing their windfall, dealing with taxes, helping family, and achieving financial security for life. But their unprecedented Powerball victory provided them with opportunities that most people can only dream about.
Winning Ticket Selling Locations
The lottery outlets that sold the three record-setting Powerball tickets also gained fame and bonuses. The winning locations were:
- California: 7-Eleven store, Chino Hills
- Florida: Publix supermarket, Melbourne Beach
- Tennessee: Naifeh’s Food Market, Munford
For selling the ticket to the Chino Hills couple, 7-Eleven received a $1 million retailer bonus from the California Lottery. The Florida and Tennessee sellers also likely earned nice bonuses, although the amounts were not publicized.
Of course, the biggest local winner was the Chino Hills 7-Eleven which sold a ticket worth over $300 million. The store instantly became a tourist stop. Visitors lined up to take photos with the 7-Eleven staff and buy lottery tickets of their own.
The two other ticket locations also experienced significant publicity and increased customer traffic. Selling one of the winning Powerball tickets was a life-changing event for the stores as well.
Winning Store Locations
|Tennessee||Naifeh’s Food Market||Munford|
These three small retailers joined the lottery history books by providing the winning tickets for the biggest Powerball jackpot ever.
Shattering Lottery Records
The epic $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot left numerous lottery records in the dust. Here are some of the ways the January 2016 draw made history:
- Largest lottery jackpot ever won in the United States
- World record jackpot for any lottery game
- First U.S. lottery prize over $500 million
- First U.S. lottery prize over $1 billion
- Largest single Powerball jackpot
- Largest jackpot split between multiple winners
The massive prize doubled the previous record of $656 million set by the Mega Millions lottery in 2012. And it smashed the previous $590.5 million Powerball record from 2013. The $1.586 billion jackpot was on a different level entirely compared to past lottery rewards.
Some analysts predicted it could be years or decades before any lottery jackpot again reached this size. Of course, just under three years later, that record was broken by the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018. But the January 2016 Powerball retained its place in history as the first lottery game to exceed $1.5 billion.
Comparison to Previous Jackpots
|Mega Millions||$656 million||2012|
The billion dollar-plus prize sparked a surge in lottery ticket sales and interest across the country. For players chasing lottery fortunes, the record Powerball jackpot was the ultimate dream. The extraordinary amount proved anything was possible in lottery games. It motivated people to keep playing for a chance at similar life-changing riches.
Lasting Lottery Legacy
Over six years later, the January 2016 Powerball draw is still recognized as one of the seminal moments in U.S. lottery history. The $1.586 billion jackpot has cemented its legendary status for several reasons:
- First ever lottery prize to exceed $1 billion
- Remains the single largest Powerball jackpot
- Held the overall U.S. lottery record until 2018
- Generated more ticket sales than any previous draw
- Created widespread lottery fever at the time
The Powerball brand carries the prestige of awarding the biggest lottery jackpot ever won. For players, the game is synonymous with the extraordinary possibility of becoming a billionaire overnight. The record $1.586 billion prize changed perceptions of just how massive lottery jackpots could become.
Of course, the odds of matching the winning numbers remain incredibly low. But now that multibillion dollar lottery prizes are a reality, it motivates people to play Powerball every week for a minuscule chance at a mind-boggling fortune.
Will the $1.586 billion record ever be broken? Powerball has not approached that mark since, but Mega Millions did surpass it in October 2018 with a $1.537 billion jackpot. It’s certainly possible that in the right circumstances, with repeated rollovers, either game could produce an even larger prize down the road.
But until that happens, the January 2016 Powerball draw will retain its prestigious position as the lottery’s first and biggest billion dollar jackpot. It captured the imagination of the public and achieved legendary status in the lottery world. That historic night will forever be linked with lottery’s arrival in the billion dollar era.
The January 13, 2016 Powerball drawing stands as a seminal moment in lottery history. The game’s $1.586 billion jackpot achieved a record prize level unthinkable in the past. It marked the first time a lottery rewarded over $1 billion and made worldwide headlines.
Ultimately, the massive jackpot was split between three ticket holders who claimed over $300 million each in cash. The winners purchased their lucky tickets from stores in California, Florida, and Tennessee which also gained notoriety.
The epic Powerball prize demonstrated lottery games were entering a new phase of astronomical jackpots. Over six years later, the drawing still stands as the biggest single prize ever in the United States. It fueled dreams that one day, a multi-billion jackpot could be within reach.
The $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot attained legendary status and forever changed the lottery landscape. Its legacy is still going strong for offering life-changing riches beyond imagination to a few very lucky winners.