A California man filed a lawsuit against the proclaimed winner of the record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot.
In the suit, the plaintiff alleged a man named “Reggie” stole the ticket. He is suing the man who claimed the jackpot and his possible accomplice.
However, California Lottery officials believe they paid the rightful winner.
Jose Rivera claims winning ticket stolen day before drawing last November
There are more than 20,000 retail locations across the state to buy California lottery tickets, including Powerball. Unfortunately, there is no California online lottery system or real push to change that. Californians win billions of dollars annually playing those games.
California’s Edwin Castro claimed the $2.04 billion jackpot from the California Lottery earlier this month. Castro claimed the money more than three months after the Nov. 7 drawing.
But Jose Rivera filed a lawsuit claiming the ticket was his. According to the suit, Rivera bought the ticket the same day the winning was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena. Then, he said a man named Reggie stole the ticket. Powerball held the drawing the following day.
California Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker told FOX 11 that the lawsuit changes nothing.
“California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion prize stemming from the Powerball drawing in November of 2022.”
Rivera’s suit also names California Lottery
Rivera failed to explain how Reggie stole the ticket precisely. But according to court documents, Rivera and Reggie were in contact after the possible theft.
Rivera claimed Reggie promised to pay half of the winnings to Rivera if it was a winner. However, Reggie also said the ticket wasn’t worth any money.
Before Castro claimed the prize, Rivera filed a complaint about the alleged incident to local law enforcement and the California Lottery. In addition to Castro and Reggie, Rivera’s suit lists the California Lottery as a defendant. Rivera seeks monetary damages as well as being declared the rightful winner.
Castro did not claim the prize right away. After he did claim it, he did not attend the press conference or offer himself to answer questions from the media.
Still, the California Lottery believes Castro is the true and rightful winner. He opted for the $997 million lump-sum payment on America’s largest lottery jackpot.
What happens next?
A California judge will look at the filing and decide whether or not to hear the case. However, if anything happens outside the courtroom, local law enforcement officials will conduct an investigation into the matter.
In a prepared statement, California Lottery Public Affairs Deputy Director Carolyn Becker said the department won’t conduct an internal investigation over the claim.
“The California Lottery is not authorized to investigate criminal activity among its players; such allegations are subject to investigation only by local law enforcement. Should a local law enforcement agency investigate such allegations, Lottery’s only role is to assist in the matter by answering questions and/or providing evidence as allowed under the law.”