While the $202 million jackpot-winning ticket sold in at an Edison convenience is a gigantic sum of money, it ranks just the 13th largest for jackpots won or split in New Jersey.
The biggest – a $533 million Mega Millions jackpot won with a ticket bought at a Lukoil minimart in Riverdale nearly two years ago – is the 14th largest prize in U.S. lottery history.
That ranks as the sixth most in the 18 years since Mega Millions drawings began and the name of the winner – Richard Wahl – was widely publicized.
We might never learn who won Tuesday’s $202 million jackpot, though, as lottery winners in New Jersey can now remain anonymous after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law earlier this year.
Here are the 10 biggest lottery jackpots won in New Jersey:
- $533 million Mega Millions jackpot – March 30, 2018. Wahl, a then 47-year-old Vernon resident, took the cash option of $324 million before taxes. He has since moved to Florida.
- $448.4 million Powerball jackpot – Aug. 7, 2013. Two of the three jackpot-winning tickets were bought in New Jersey. A group of 16 co-workers at the Ocean County vehicle maintenance garage joined Mario Scarnici, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick as newly minted millionaires. The other ticket was bought in Minnesota.
- $429.6 million Powerball jackpot – May 7, 2016. Pearlie Mae Smith, a then 70-year-old from Trenton and her seven adult children split the big prize – the cash option was $284.1 million before taxes. It was the sixth-largest Powerball prize at the time.
- $390 million Mega Millions jackpot – March 6, 2007. Elaine and Harold Messner, of the Tuckahoe section of Upper Township, claimed half of the prize – $195 million. They won $87.4 million after taxes were deducted. The other winning ticket was bought in Georgia.
- $338.3 million Powerball jackpot – March 23, 2013. Pedro Quezada, a then 45-year-old from Passaic, won a lump sum of $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes.
- $331 million The Big Game jackpot – April 16, 2002. One of the three jackpot-winning prizes was claimed by Jorge and Joanne Lopes of Manalapan. The other winning tickets were sold in Georgia and Illinois. The cash option of each ticket was worth about $58 million. The Big Game was re-named Mega Millions later in 2002.
- $330 million Mega Millions jackpot – Aug. 31, 2007 – John and Sandy Belawsky of the Villas section of Lower Township held one of four jackpot winning tickets. The others were bought in Virginia, Texas and Maryland. The Bellawskys, a retired couple, chose the cash option – a prize of about $48.6 million before taxes.
- $315.3 million Powerball jackpot on May 19, 2018 – Tayeb Souami, a 55-year-old accountant from Little Ferry, was the sole winner of the drawing. His pre-tax prize was $183.2 million.
- $273 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 1, 2019 – Michael J. Weirsky, 54, of Alpha, Warren County bought the only ticket to match five numbers plus the Mega Ball and chose the cash option worth $162.5 million before taxes.
- $258 million Mega Millions jackpot on Sept. 16, 2005 – Harold and Helen Lerner of Rutherford took the cash option – $156.1 million and ended up with about $117,075,000. Harold was 60 at the time of the big win, according to reports.
Before Tuesday, two other New Jersey tickets have also hit multi-state jackpots of at least $200 million. There was a $216 million Mega Millions prize on March 3, 2009 and a $211.7 million Powerball jackpot win on March 13, 2010.