The Biggest New Jersey Lottery Winners Ever

New Jersey is famous for lots of things; its beautiful beaches and boardwalks, for being the home of Thomas Edison, the site of the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, for hoagies AND subs. Now it’s time to add another item to the list, luck. Garden State residents are some of the luckiest in the US, winning huge lottery jackpots that have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars. Let’s take a look at some of New Jersey’s big winners and see how you can join them.

Anonymous, $1.128 Billion Mega Millions Winner, March 26, 2024

Following a 15-week growth streak, the Mega Millions® jackpot saw its first 2024 winner in New Jersey, totaling $1.128 billion ($536.6 million cash) on March 26th. This achievement marks the game's fifth-largest jackpot to date. The winning combination comprised numbers 7, 11, 22, 29, 38, along with Mega Ball 4.

The winning ticket, purchased at ShopRite Liquor #781 in Neptune Township, marked the end of a jackpot run that produced over 29.9 million winning tickets nationwide.

Richard Wahl, $533 Million Mega Millions Winner, March 30, 2018

Richard Wahl made history in New Jersey when he was the lone winner of a $533 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot on March 30th 2018, the largest prize ever won in the state of New Jersey. Wahl used Quick Pick to correctly match the numbers 11, 28, 31, 46, 59 and Mega Ball 1 to win his incredible jackpot. Rather than receiving the full jackpot amount in 30 annuity payments over 29 years, Wahl decided to take the lump cash sum of $324.6 million. Almost as incredible as his jackpot is the fact that Wahl won it on only his second try at playing the lottery! Talk about beginner’s luck!

Wahl is a manager at a northern New Jersey food production company and moved to the state only a year ago from Michigan. Among his plans for the prize money: restoring a 1963 Corvette and helping family.

Ocean's 16, $448 Million Powerball Winners, August 7, 2013

August 7th, 2013 turned out to be a very lucky night for sixteen employees of the Ocean County Vehicle Services Department. The group, who dubbed themselves the Ocean’s 16, were one of three lucky winners of a $448 million Powerball jackpot! Opting for the lump sum cash payment, the group took home $86,054,355. The Oceans 16 group played 48 lines of Powerball in total, using Quick Pick to select each one.

This incredible jackpot win was a stunning reversal of fortune for six members of the group, whose houses had suffered damage from Sandy.

The Smith Family Lottery Pool, $429.6 Million Powerball Winners, May 13, 2016

The Smith Family Lottery Pool struck it rich with a $429.6 million Powerball jackpot win on Friday, May 13th, 2016. The Smith Family Lottery Pool was comprised of eight members of the Smith family: matriarch Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven adult children, all residents of Trenton and Newark. Pearlie Mae Smith is a pastor who rarely plays the lottery, however she felt compelled to buy two Powerball tickets based on numbers that came to her “in a dream.”

The winning numbers were 5, 25, 26, 44, 66, and Powerball 9. It certainly is a good thing that she listened to her intuition! A year after their big win, the family opened the Smith Family Foundation to fight poverty in their home town of Trenton.

Tayeb Souami, $315.3 Million Powerball Winner, May 19, 2018

On May 19th, 2018 Tayeb Souami was the sole winner of a $315.3 million Powerball jackpot. Souami, of Little Ferry in Bergen County, purchased his ticket at a ShopRite in Hackensack. He successfully matched the numbers 3, 6, 9, 17, 56 and Powerball 25 to win the jackpot. Souami took the cash option of $183.2 million rather than 30 annuity payments over 29 years.

Souami immigrated to the US, declining to specify from where, in 1996 and was working at a food importing company at the time of his win. He had refinanced his home to pay for his daughter’s college education, receiving the check a week before his incredible win. Souami found out he had win when the ticket-scanning machine directed him to take his winning ticket to the store clerk.

"The clerk kept saying, 'oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,' and my heart went just like a 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon when the heart went boom boom... and I found out after that I was the one."

At the time of his win, Souami planned to consult with a financial advisor regarding his dream come true of a jackpot. He also said that he would absolutely take care of college tuition costs for his two daughters.

Anonymous, $221 Million Powerball Winner, June 10, 2024

On June 10, 2024, a school bus driver won a life-changing $221 million Powerball jackpot. The winner is a regular customer at the local convenience store that sold the winning ticket, according to an employee. The name of the lucky winner may never be revealed, but they have a year to claim the winnings, which would stand at $71 million after federal and state taxes are deducted.

Order Official Lottery Tickets Online in New Jersey

Tayeb Souami Powerball Winner

As incredible as these stories are, there’s no mystery to how they won, they all simply played the lottery. After all, there’s no way you can possibly win the lottery without ordering tickets. The good news is that ordering official lottery tickets in New Jersey has never been easier, more convenient, and more secure. Order lottery tickets online in New Jersey at theLotter NJ to enjoy everything that online lottery play has to offer.