Winning the lottery is one of the most cliche ways someone can change their life financially.
Like other states, proceeds from the Kentucky Lottery fund the state’s education program. Since the state founded the Kentucky Lottery in 1989, the organization has awarded more than $4 billion in scholarships for Kentucky students.
Over more than three decades of sales, the lottery sold hundreds of millions of tickets. Furthermore, the organization steadily expanded its offerings.
During the organization’s early days, it drew numbers just twice a week.
But now, residents can purchase tickets for multi-jurisdictional games like Powerball and Mega Millions.
As the years passed, the lottery prize pools increased. Nine lucky winners (or groups of winners) have won as much as $50 million in state lottery jackpots in Kentucky. However, one lucky man won a six-figure jackpot back in 2009.
Rob Anderson’s $128.6 million score is the largest jackpot in Kentucky history
The biggest lottery winner in Kentucky history got his prized ticket by mistake.
When Rob Anderson Jr. asked a clerk for three $1 tickets, the employee made a mistake and printed a ticket with a $3 multi-pick on one slip. He asked Anderson if he still wanted it. Luckily for Anderson, he said yes. A few days later, Anderson couldn’t believe the mistake was a winner.
More than $128 million.
It was life-changing money for the auto factory worker, but he insisted it wouldn’t alter his habits.
“We’re really grounded people,” Anderson said when he was announced as the winner of more than $128 million in January of 2010. “We’ll still clip coupons and still look for the clearance rack.”
Nine other prizes have been awarded in Kentucky worth as much as $41.5 million from 1994 to 2009. But in the past 13-plus years, no lotto jackpot winner in the Bluegrass State has topped $35 million.
A complete list of the largest Kentucky Lottery jackpots
|Rob Anderson Jr.||Georgetown, KY||Dec. 26, 2009||$128.6 Million|
|Kent Miller||Madison, TN||Jan. 24, 1996||$89.3 Million|
|Melvin Rhodes & Family||Clinton, TN||April 19, 2000||$80 Million|
|David Edwards||Westwood, KY||Aug. 26, 2001||$73.8 Million|
|Mack and Virginia Metcalf||Florence, KY & Dayton, KY||July 22, 2000||$65.4 Million|
|Brenda Knopp||Bloomfield, KY||April 20, 1994||$64.2 Million|
|The Nukote 22 (A group of co-workers)||Bardstown, KY||Sept. 27, 2007||$61.5 Million|
|James Christian, Ronnie Mays, Andy Perry and Mike Alderice||Burns, TN; Lavergne, TN; Mt. Juliet, TN; Lewisburg, TN;||May 27, 2000||$60.6 Million|
|Andy Davidson||Evansville, IN||June 18, 1997||$57.5 Million|
|Richard Barbella||Lexington, KY||July 20, 2002||$41.5 Million|
This data set is courtesy of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.
When Kent Miller, a 34-year-old bachelor from Madison, won his big lottery jackpot in 1994, the internet wasn’t widespread and social media didn’t exist. His win wasn’t as public as it could have been decades later, but it immediately impacted him.
Miller quit his job with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. His mother left her job as well.
Many jackpot winners decide to end their employment rather quickly. It seems working for someone isn’t that fun when you have tens of millions in the bank.
In 2000, when 73-year-old Melvin Rhodes won $80 million in the Powerball drawing (a little more than $41 million in a one-time payout), he promptly retired.
“I don’t think I’ll be needing this anymore,” Rhodes said, as he removed his McDonald’s hat at a ceremony celebrating his win.
Rhodes, a retired funeral director, did what many lottery winners choose to do. He shared his winnings with close family members.
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When are Kentucky Lottery drawings?
The Kentucky Lottery is drawn every day in some form or another. The in-state Pick 3 and Pick 4 games are drawn multiple times daily, every week.
On the other hand, Powerball is drawn on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Mega Millions is drawn on Tuesdays and Fridays. A Keno game, which offers a top prize of $100,000, takes place every four minutes. Bettors can enter Keno at a kiosk or gaming station at locations across the state, more than 5,000.
Lottery sales fund the Kentucky state education system.