The Biggest Lottery Winners: Where are They Now?

Last Update: July 16, 2018
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Written by Nicholas Christensen

Table of Contents

It’s easy to imagine that all lottery winners live happily ever after. But that isn’t reality.

Regardless of their financial status, lottery winners live like the rest of us, with their own set of problems to deal with. Typically, the more money you have, the more problems you will likely encounter. It stands to reason that the biggest lottery winners of all time probably have their work cut out for them, right?

Well, yes and no. Some have dealt with the pressures of becoming overnight millionaires better than others. Meanwhile, some went completely off the radar! Read on to see what the biggest lottery winners have been up to.

$1.58 Billion Powerball Jackpot Winners

John and Lisa Robinson ($327.8M Won)

Powerball Lottery Winners John and Lisa Robinson

Where are they now?

Since winning the Powerball, John and Lisa Robinson have upgraded to a multi-million dollar home, complete with home theater and a private lake. Other than the noteworthy house, they’ve kept out of the headlines.

On January 13, 2016, couple John and Lisa Robinson won a third of the historical $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot. Like the other two winners, the Robinsons chose to take their winnings as a lump sum, getting $327.8 million before taxes.

Despite their newfound wealth, the couple planned to keep their modest Munford, Tennessee home. John said, “These big fancy houses are nice, but you gotta clean ‘em.” Lisa, meanwhile, said that she wanted to continue working.

2 years after their big win, the Robinsons now live in a $6.2 million 10-bedroom home. Sitting on a 320-acre lot, their luxury home comes with a private lake and some of the best views of Tennessee. More than that, it has eight bathrooms, and even a well-equipped home theater. So much for staying in a modest home!

Lisa went back to work the day after they won, but wasn’t treated well. It’s not a surprise then that the Robinsons keep to themselves and ask for privacy. Who could blame them? They’re probably tired of all the strangers and “long lost relatives” asking for a handout!

Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt (327.8M Won)

Powerball Lottery Winners Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt

Where are they now?

Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt are still buying lottery tickets! Other than a few luxury buys, the couple have kept up their old routines.

Unlike the Robinsons, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt have continued living a modest lifestyle after their Powerball win. Save for a $90,000 Tesla and a new SUV, the couple haven’t splurged with their winnings. They still live in their $300,000 home in Florida and frequent the same shops and restaurants.

They also go about their daily routine as if nothing big had happened. In fact, despite winning a lump sum of $327.8 million (before taxes), the couple still plays the Powerball!

Marvin and Mae Acosta ($327.8M Won)

Where are they now?

The Acostas stayed quiet before claiming their jackpot, and they’ve kept up the silence since. Scammers tried to take advantage of their charity plans, so we can only assume the Acostas have opted to keep their philanthropy private.

Marvin and Mae Acosta, the final third of 2016’s $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot winners, have stayed quiet since their big win. It shouldn’t be a surprise: the pair lay low for over 6 months before claiming their prize. The Acostas didn’t want any publicity then, and nothing has changed after 2 years!

Today, the Acostas are still keeping a low profile. Their plan to stay out of the public eye seems to be the right call: once they shared their plans to create a charity, scammers went to work. People began receiving obvious scam letters claiming to be from the Acostas. There was even a website called AcostaFoundation that ripped off the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website!

$758.7 Million Powerball Jackpot Winner

Mavis Wanczyk ($336M Won)

Powerball Lottery Winner Mavis Wanczyk

Where are they now?

Mavis Wanczyk quit her job and retreated from the public eye. When she claimed her prize, Wanczyk said she wanted to be alone and figure out what to do next—and it looks like she did just that.

Mavis Wanczyk was the sole winner of the August 27, 2017 draw of the US Powerball. With nobody to split the prize with, the 50-something mom from Massachusetts took home a lump sum of $336,350,655 after taxes.

Not long after, Mavis quit her job at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield. However, her current whereabouts and her status are both unknown. And that’s actually part of her plan!

Post-win, Mavis said that she’d rather be alone, hide in her bed, and think about what she wanted to do next. Judging by the lack of any news about her, it looks like she got her wish!

Scammers did try to use Mavis’ name, but authorities and the media quickly caught on.

$656 Million Mega Millions Jackpot Winners

Merle and Patricia Butler ($157.8M Won)

Mega Millions Lottery Winners Merle and Patricia Butler

Where are they now?

Merle and Patricia Butler built a legal and financial advising team to help manage their winnings. They’ve had to speak against scammers using their name, but they’ve maintained their privacy since.

Merle and Patricia Butler split the $656M Mega Millions jackpot with two other winners in 2012. The Butlers took their winnings home as a $157.8M lump sum, and they haven’t been in the public eye since.

Funny enough, they were the only ones who came out publicly! The other winners were a group who called themselves “The Three Amigos” and an anonymous individual.

Like the Acostas, Merle and Patricia Butler consulted legal and financial advisers before claiming their prize. If their absence from the spotlight is any sign, they seem to be following their legal team’s advice. After all, if a lottery winner is in the news often, they’re probably doing something wrong. Take, for example, the infamous lottery winner Jane Park.

Unfortunately, the Butlers couldn’t stay out of the spotlight completely. Like the Acostas, they found their names used in various scams. Merle had to go on record to clear the Butler name. But after that, no news stories—good or bad—have come out about the Butlers.

$648 Million Mega Millions Jackpot Winners

Ira Curry ($120M Won)

Mega Millions Lottery Winner Ira Curry

Where are they now?

Ira Curry claimed her prize within days and vanished just as quickly.

Back in December 2013, Ira Curry split the $648 million Mega Millions jackpot with one other winner. Curry opted to receive her winnings in cash, taking home around $120 million after taxes.

Shortly after her big win, Curry and her family suddenly went into hiding. What Ira Curry ended up doing with the money and where she is now is anyone’s guess.

Steve Tran ($120M Won)

Where are they now?

Steve Tran quit his job and kept his peace.

Steve Tran was the second winner of the $648 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2013. Like Curry, he’s stayed out of the public eye since his big win, so nobody knows where he ultimately ended up. We do know what he didn’t do though—work!

After his win, Tran called up his boss and said, “I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow or ever.” If all went according to plan, Tran is probably relaxing in a tropical island right now!

$590.5 Million Powerball Jackpot Winner

Gloria MacKenzie ($278M Won)

Powerball Lottery Winner Gloria MacKenzie

Where are they now?

Gloria McKenzie replaced her rundown apartment with a seaside mansion and donated $2M for a Maine high school’s repairs.

In May 2013, Gloria MacKenzie, an 84-year-old from Zephyrhills, Florida, set the record for Powerball winnings. She hit the $590.5 million jackpot with nobody else to split the prize. As the sole winner, MacKenzie took home a sizeable $278 million after taxes.

After her big win, MacKenzie bought a seaside mansion worth $1.2M in Jacksonville, Florida—a big upgrade from her run-down $30,000 rental apartment. MacKenzie also donated a cool $2M to a Maine high school that needed new roofing. The generous grandmother also pledged to share her winnings with her son, Scott.

How is the biggest Powerball winner is doing now? It’s hard to tell: her family has requested for privacy, and there has been no news since.

$587.5 Million Powerball Jackpot Winners

Cindy and Mark Hill ($136.5M Won)

Powerball Lottery Winners Cindy and Mark Hill

Where are they now?

Cindy and Mark Hill have maintained their modest lifestyles, spending most of their money funding civic projects and charity work in their Missouri hometown.

In November 2012, Cindy and Mark Hill won half of the $587.5M Powerball jackpot in November 2012. Like Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt, the Hills have continued living modestly since their win.

For instance, Mark still gets his morning coffee at the local convenience store. He’s also chosen a modest pickup truck over the Camaro sports car he had been eyeing.

But that doesn’t mean the Hills haven’t been using their winnings. Before hitting the Powerball jackpot, the Hills had already donated to civic projects in their hometown of Camden Point, Missouri. Now, with millions of Powerball winnings in the bank, the Hills’ generosity seems to have multiplied by tenfold!

Camden Point has the couple to thank for their new fire station and a new ball field. The Hills also gave more than $50,000 so the town could buy a site for building a new sewage treatment plant. Finally, the Hills also pledged a large amount to North Platte High School’s scholarship fund.

It isn’t clear what the Hills have been up to since then. But given their philanthropic ways, it’s a good bet that they’ve put that $136.5M prize to good use!

$30 Million Florida Lotto Jackpot Winner

Aura Dominguez Canto ($20.9M Won)

Florida Lottery Winner Aura Dominguez Canto

Where are they now?

Aura Dominguez Canto has kept to herself, planning to use her winnings to support her family.

When retiree Aura Dominguez Canto joined the Florida Lotto in 2017, it was out of need. She realized that, by winning, she could continue to support her children and take care of herself. Determined, Canto played for a whole month: she signed up for theLotter, one of the biggest online lottery agents.

She lost the first few times. But on August 16, 2017, Canto finally won the $30,000,000 Florida Lotto jackpot. She took home a lump sum payment of $20,948,543.98.

At the time, Aura was unsure what she would do with her winnings besides supporting her children. Today, Mrs. Canto has managed to stay out of the limelight completely. Her current whereabouts are unknown. One thing’s for sure though: thanks to her persistence, her children won’t have to worry about money!

Canto isn’t the first nor the last success story for online lottery players, either. Since 2002, theLotter has helped people all across the globe win over $90 million in prizes. And because they’ve successfully pushed for the legalization of online lottery in New Jersey, that number is sure to grow!