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DailyFinance: The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

7. California

Largest Single Jackpot: $315 million (2005)
Prizes Paid: $1.6 billion
Ticket Sales: $2.97 billion
State Profit From Sales: $1.04 billion
Government Use: Education

California instituted its lottery in 1984, when it was looking a method for increasing spending on education without raising taxes. The largest jackpot which included a California resident was a $336 million prize shared with a ticket holder in New York in May 2000. The largest single-ticket win for a California resident was a $315 million Mega Millions jackpot awarded in November 2005. That remains the third-largest single-ticket prize in history: An Oregon resident won $340 million in 2005 and a Nebraska resident won $365 million in 2006. In 2010, as one of his last acts in office, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a bill which would increase the efficiency of the California Lottery while increasing the percentage of ticket sales that go to state profits. Payout for ticket holders remained at 50 percent.

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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