Winner of historic $2B Powerball sued by man who claims ticket was stolen from him

The winner of California’s file $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot final 12 months is being sued by a man who claims the ticket was stolen from him earlier than the successful numbers had been revealed.

Edwin Castro received the record-setting prize within the November 2022 draw and was recognized in February. At the time he stated he was “shocked and ecstatic” and selected to simply accept the jackpot in a lump-sum cost of $997.6 million. 

That similar month he was recognized, a man named Jose Rivera filed a civil grievance in Alhambra Superior Court claiming the jackpot must be his. 

The swimsuit was filed towards Castro, The California State Lottery Commission, the state of California and a man named Urachi F. Romero, whom Rivera accused of taking his ticket. 

Jose Rivera bought a lottery ticket for the $2.04 billion Powerball on Nov. 7, 2022 at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, in the future earlier than the draw, in accordance with the grievance.

But that very same day, Rivera alleges Romero stole the ticket. The grievance didn’t element how the alleged theft occur.

After Romero allegedly stole the ticket, Rivera made “numerous requests and demands to return it,” however Romero refused, in accordance with the grievance. 

On Nov. 8, 2022 the successful numbers had been drawn and Rivera made renewed requests for Romero to return the ticket. But, Romero allegedly responded by saying “the ticket was a loser or if I find the ticket we can split the winnings 50/50,” the grievance stated.

Rivera reported the alleged theft to the California Lottery and regulation enforcement, in accordance with courtroom paperwork.

On Feb. 14, the California State Lottery Commission and State of California introduced Edwin Castro was the winner of the Powerball. Lottery officers stated they adopted a vetting course of to guarantee the ticket and declare had been respectable.

Rivera offered a declare kind to the California Lottery in Santa Fe Springs three days later claiming his ticket was stolen. 

That similar day his counsel despatched a letter to the California Lottery claiming the successful ticket was stolen from Rivera.

“Up until the announcement on February 14, 2023, Mr. Rivera had been threatened that his winning ticket would be destroyed if he did not agree to split the winnings,” the letter to California Lottery stated. 

The grievance stated Rivera requested that California Lottery to protect all footage depicting the successful ticket being bought at Joe’s Service Center. 

Rivera says he’s entitled to the jackpot, claiming he suffered emotional damages, trespass to chattel (that means use of property with out an proprietor’s permission) and intentional interference with potential financial relations within the alleged ordeal. 

California Lottery stated it doesn’t touch upon pending litigation however expressed “utmost confidence” within the group’s vetting course of for winners.

“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,” state lottery Deputy Director and spokesperson Carolyn Becker stated.

A summons was served on April 25 at a sprawling $25.5 million Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles residence that was offered in March, in accordance with on-line information. 

But the particular person on the residence allegedly advised course of servers “we are serving the wrong Edwin Castro,” in accordance with a May 17 submitting. 

On Thursday, a movement to quash service of summons was filed by an lawyer for Castro. It stated that the summons was issued to Edwin H. Castro — the daddy of precise Powerball winner Edwin G. Castro.

A declaration hooked up to the movement by Edwin G. Castro, the precise jackpot winner, stated he has by no means personally been issued a summons. He acknowledged that the LA residence his father was served at was his. He didn’t tackle the claims concerning the ticket in his submitting.

A listening to is about for July 19 on that movement. 

NBC News has reached out to attorneys for Rivera and Castro for remark. Romero, who didn’t file a response within the courtroom docket, couldn’t be reached Friday.

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