Powerball winner Edwin Castro is facing a $2 billion lawsuit after a California man claims the winning ticket was stolen from him.
In court papers, plaintiff Jose Rivera said he is the rightful owner of the $2.04 billion jackpot.
Rivera claims he bought the winning ticket on Nov. 7, 2022 — a day before the draw — from Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, Calif.
The winner of the jackpot would end up pocketing a lump sum of $997.6 million after taxes.
Rivera alleges it was stolen by a man called “Reggie,” who has since been identified as Urachi F. Romero, and he “refused” to return it despite Rivera’s requests, according to court documents seen by the New York Post.
Rivera said he had repeatedly asked “Reggie” for the ticket, but was told “the ticket was a loser,” but they could split the winnings if the ticket was found, the suit states.
Rivera said he reported the theft to police and the California Lottery.
It’s unclear how Castro ended up with the winning ticket.
California Lottery said it had the “utmost confidence” in the organization’s vetting process 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,” California State Lottery spokesperson Carolyn Becker said in a statement obtained by the Daily Mail.
Castro also denied he was properly served papers regarding the lawsuit, claiming that his father, who has the same first and last names but has a different middle initial, was served the papers.
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