Biggest lottery winner ever sued by man claiming jackpot ticket was stolen from him
The winner of the biggest ever lottery jackpot prize has been sued by a man who claims the lucky man stole the winning ticket from him.
Jose Rivera alleges he bought a Powerball ticket at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, on November 7, a day before the record-breaking $2.04billion drawing, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ.
Rivera claims that a man named Reggie stole the ticket from him the same day and that he tried to get it back after the numbers were being drawn. But Reggie said the ticket did not have the winning numbers and agreed to give up half of the prize money if found, according to Rivera.
Then earlier this month, Edwin Castro claimed the jackpot and chose to collect it as a lump sum payment of about $997.6million. His identity was kept secret for months before being revealed.
The complainant reported the theft to the California State Lottery and to police. Rivera said he ‘refused to be blackmailed’ and is calling for an investigation before the money is paid to Castro.
Rivera lists Castro and Reggie as separate defendants. Rivera seeks to be declared winner of the jackpot and to collect damages.
A California Lottery spokesperson stated that it is ‘not authorized to investigate criminal activity among its players’ and that only law enforcement can look into such allegations.
Lottery officials are limited to answering questions and providing evidence to police investigations, the spokesperson told TMZ.
‘When it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so,’ stated the spokesperson.
‘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.’
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