Powerball doesn’t discriminate and here are some of the youngest, and oldest Powerball winners of all time.
Another big reason why so many people love to play Powerball is its inherent level playing field. The odds reset for every game, making it equally opportunistic for anyone to win every time. And over the years of recorded Powerball jackpots, there have been some young players and old players alike who’ve all walked away richer. Here’s a look at a few of those stories, citing some of the youngest and oldest to ever win Powerball.
In 1999, Tim Schultz, a struggling college student who worked at a convenience store to try and make ends meet while earning his education, took a chance on a Powerball ticket. This 21-year-old hit it big with a $28 million Powerball jackpot in Des Moines, Iowa. Needless to say, paying for tuition and books was no longer an issue for Schultz.
At the other end of the Powerball winning age spectrum is Gloria MacKenzie. The 85-year-old got lucky with her Powerball ticket that proved to be worth $590 million back in 2013. MacKenzie had opted to play the Quick Pick and used her winnings to start a local foundation to help students with education projects ongoing, including restoring the high school she herself once attended.
In 1999, Farrah Slad took home $150 million with her Powerball win, making her another member of the 21-year-old winner’s circle. She told reporters the windfall couldn’t have come at a better time since she was two weeks away from her apartment lease ending without plans for new housing. Just like in the movies, she used her last $20 to get dinner for her family and $5 worth of Powerball tickets.
In January 2016, Maureen Smith was one of three who won one of the largest ever Powerball jackpots totaling $1.58 billion. The 71-year-old’s share of the prize was $528 million. But she and her husband continued to live modestly and out of public view. She did buy herself a new Tesla, and the couple still plays Powerball.
The same January 2016 record jackpot was also split with a winner at the younger end of the spectrum. A 19-year-old Florida young man named Frederick Walker also took home his share of that monstrous $1.58 billion. When he arrived at the counter to play his numbers, he noticed an abandoned ticket with numbers already filled out. He grabbed it and played it along with his. It was that ticket that proved to be the winner.
Robert Bailey had been playing the same numbers for 25 years before they finally hit it big. He took home $125 million in the lump sum payout and after taxes, which was more than enough for this Harlem man to buy his mom a "big house." He also said he planned to travel and invest his winnings, demonstrating his wisdom with his age.
It was 2008 when 19-year-old Jay Vargas’ life changed in a big way. He had been working construction in South Carolina when he won the Powerball jackpot worth $35.3 million. With an entrepreneurial spirit, he set out to launch his own wrestling organization he called “Wrestilicious.” Unfortunately, the WWE knockoff failed.
Whether you’re 18 or 88, don’t let age stop you from playing Powerball. As you can tell, the jackpot doesn’t care how old you are. And your chances of winning are the same regardless of how old or young you are.