Shortly after the California Lottery named the winner of the $2.04 billion-dollar Powerball jackpot, a man has reportedly filed a lawsuit contesting the win and claiming that the ticket was stolen from him.
Jose Rivera claims he bought the winning ticket from Joe’s Service Center in Altadena on Nov. 7, but said it was stolen that same day, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.
The lawsuit says a man who is identified as “Reggie” stole the ticket, but did not explain the details of the alleged theft. Rivera claimed that man told him that even if he won, he would only return it on the condition that he split the prize 50-50. He also said that he “refused to be blackmailed,” reporting the alleged crime to law enforcement officials and to the California lottery and demanding an investigation.
The lawsuit names both Edwin Castro – who was identified as the winner – and “Reggie” as separate defendants but does not detail how they were involved. Rivera is asking for damages and to be declared the winner.
WINNER OF $1.35B MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT COMES FORWARD TO CLAIM REWARD
The California Lottery told Fox Business Digital in an email on Friday that it is not authorized to investigate criminal activity among its players and that allegations are subject to investigation only by law enforcement. The lottery’s only role is to assist in such investigations and provide evidence as allowed under the law.
“Further, when it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so,” it said in a statement. “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.”
The jackpot was the largest ever for Powerball and the largest in U.S. lottery history.
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