The Biggest Lottery Wins in New York State

The New York Lottery is a state-owned lottery game operating in the state of New York since 1967. Since it was established after New York residents voted in a referendum, the lottery has been offering New Yorkers a way to have fun and gamble through buying lottery tickets.

The lottery works much the same as any other state lottery, with a few different draw-type games available. Players must be at least 18 to play most of these games, and the lottery is controlled by the New York State Gambling Commission. Revenue from the lottery goes towards funding public education, and in addition, winnings are subject to state and federal income tax.

The lottery is a great game to play because it’s incredibly simple yet offers potentially huge jackpots to lucky winners. Here are some of the biggest ever winners of the New York State Lottery.

Richard Morrison – $162 million

Richard Morrison of Miller Place, Suffolk County, won this astronomical jackpot on the lottery in NY in 2009. Richard Morrison and his wife Mary Morrison were no doubt thrilled about such a win, although they soon landed in hot water. As it turns out, they had run a scam back in 2000 while operating homeless shelters, and a judge soon ordered them to pay back $1 million. Still, even after taxes and the fine, the couple were left with more than $60 million, a life-changing sum of money.While the couple protested their innocence of any crime, they were no doubt still happy to receive their winnings almost in full.

Nancy Viola – $169 million

Nancy Viola, a housewife from Staten Island, New York, won this huge sum of money while playing the Mega Millions in January 2016. In actual fact, the win was a lucky coincidence, as her husband had been buying Powerball tickets for $20 before finding an extra $1. He used this $1 dollar to buy a single Mega Millions ticket, leading to the couple scooping a huge win. They chose to receive the money as a lump sum, receiving a total of more than $64 million after taxes.

Twenty Costco Employees – $201.9 million

In June 2011, twenty lucky Costco employees shared this massive jackpot after playing Powerball as part of a syndicate. The colleagues all worked together at Costco in Long Island prior to the win and had been spending $5 each on tickets for around a month before winning the jackpot. The winners were all aged between 24 and 73, but there was no news on whether they would continue working at the store.

Daniel and Christine Bruckner – $208 million

Daniel and his wife Christine were on holiday visiting relatives in Long Island when they decided to buy a lottery ticket. Although they’re from California, the couple became one of New York state’s biggest ever lottery winners after winning from a Mega Millions ticket in December 2011. After taxes, the couple received around $101 million and planned to cover some bills and debts before helping out charities and local causes where they live.

Seven Employees of the New York Division of Community and Housing Renewal – $319 million

This Mega Millions prize worth $319 million was claimed by seven co-workers from the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal in March 2011. The group normally plays with five other co-workers, but that week they decided not to buy a ticket, and the winners were struggling to decide whether they should still split it between all twelve people. It would certainly be awkward going back to work if they didn’t. Each of the seven co-workers received a total of $7 million after taxes from the win,and supposedly, someone cut in front of the person who bought the ticket.

Harold Diamond – $326 million

In 2014, 80-year old Harold Diamond became New Yorks’s biggest ever lottery winner. The former high school principal had been retired since 1995 and was out with his wife Carol going for dinner after voting on election day. However, a storm changed their plans and meant they stopped off at a gas station, where Harold bought the winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket.


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