Individual launches allegations after lottery winner steps forward to claim world's largest jackpot
By Kate Northrop
An individual has claimed in legal filings that he was the one to purchase the winning lottery ticket for the world-record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot and that the ticket was stolen from him.
Another Altadena man named Jose Rivera has launched allegations that Edwin Castro is not the true winner of the $2.04 billion Powerball lottery jackpot just over a week after Castro was announced by the California Lottery as the winner.
On Valentine's Day, the California Lottery held a press conference where they announced Edwin Castro as the sole winner of the jackpot. Castro was not physically present at the event, but he submitted a brief statement, which was read aloud by Lottery officials on his behalf.
Castro opted to take the lump sum option of the jackpot, which comes out to $997.6 million, the Lottery said.
The winning ticket was sold at Joe's Service Center on Woodbury Road in Altadena, which received a $1 million commission for selling it. The ticket matched all five white ball numbers — 10, 33, 41, 47, and 56, plus the Powerball number 10 — to win the jackpot in November.
Rivera claims that it was he who bought the winning ticket at Joe's Service Center on Nov. 7, the day before the life-changing drawing.
According to documents, Rivera asserts that another man identified as "Reggie" stole the ticket from him.
Rivera said that after the winning numbers were drawn, he repeatedly asked Reggie to give the ticket back, but he refused. Reggie then allegedly threatened to destroy the ticket if Rivera did not agree to split the winnings.
The paperwork says that Rivera reported the "blackmail" incident to the California Lottery and local authorities.
"The California Lottery is not authorized to investigate criminal activity among its players; such allegations are subject to investigation only by local law enforcement," the Lottery said in a statement. "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."
Rivera's lawsuit names the California Lottery, Castro, and Reggie as defendants and asks the court for damages and to name him the rightful winner of the $2 billion jackpot.
"Further, when it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so. 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."
During the claims verification process, the Lottery affirms that it views store surveillance footage to ensure they are paying out the correct winner.
An anonymous employee at Joe's Service Center said that Rivera was "crazy" for making such an accusation and explained that the Lottery goes through security video footage "frame by frame" and "to the second" to verify the winner's identity.
"[The] California Lottery [has] strict regulations about how they choose a winner," the nameless worker told the Daily Mail. "This guy is crazy. He came in here with his attorney yelling about it and there's nothing we can do."
Thanks to Pick3master3838 for the tip.
When you act dishonestly you are initiating problems, and a domino structure of complications, which will eventually run out of control.
A phrase from a poem by Sir Walter Scott written in 1808 comes to mind:
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.
Certainly there is video of the rightful winner purchasing the winning ticket---hopefully Mr. Castro.
Like we always say here it is a Bearer Instrument and hope Mr. Castro signed it.
It was nice of the California Lottery to not 'out' the purchaser like they did that lady a few years ago when they reviewed and posted/plastered her picture.
I play in a lottery pool and am the administrator, we have strict guidance
I buy the tickets and immediately send a copy
I play my own at a separate store
so Jose bought, Reggie snatched and Edward turned it in
Large prize winning lottery tickets are not bearer instruments in California. In other states it may be different, but here the lottery absolutely will not pay out anything without verifying that the person making the claim was actually the person who bought the ticket. And if it's one of those cases where the winner sent someone to the store to buy some tickets, the lottery will interview the purchaser. That's why one of the requirements to be a lotto retailer here is having a good security camera system. With small prizes, tickets are bearer instruments because it's not cost effective to investigate every single claim.
If the CA Lottery is putting out a statement saying they are confident Castro is the rightful winner, it means they have clear video footage of him buying the ticket at the exact time.
(And some may remember a case many years ago when the CA lottery paid out a large prize in the absence of a physical ticket because they identified the person buying the ticket via security cam footage.)
* Major reaching! The winning numbers have been posted for " Months" both here on LP & elsewhere. Where was this person's claim during all that time about someone stealing his ticket? Now that a winner has claimed the ticket- a shadow emerges? I am not buying it.
I'd agree with you that the timing is suspicious if the article had said when the police report was filed. But it doesn't say whether Rivera only recently went to the police or if he made the complaint months ago. Only the lawsuit was filed recently.
I'm with CEJ that when it comes to the big prizes, a lotto ticket ain't gonna be treated as a bearer instrument, no way no how. It's bad publicity for the lottery to be paying out millions to someone invoking "finders keepers." Leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The lottery can pay or refuse to pay at its discretion.
The place that had that winning ticket is owned by a cincinnati bengals player. don't let it fool ya.
I understand your comical comment and stuff, but lets be serious for a moment. This whole thing sounds suspicious.
This is the side of why winners name shouldn't be announced but if it's not announced people won't trust the lottery
I bet there will be lawsuits filed out in this case.
Nothing suspicious about saying "Rivera was crazy," , "An anonymous employee at Joe's Service Center said that Rivera was "crazy" for making such an accusation and explained that the Lottery goes through security video footage "frame by frame" and "to the second" to verify the winner's identity."
And not the first time someone made a claim like Rivera's. A few years ago a woman in Ohio claimed she lost the winning ticket in convenience store parking lot, filled a police report and a lawsuit to block payment of a $162 million MM jackpot.
According to the article, "During the claims verification process, the Lottery affirms that it views store surveillance footage to ensure they are paying out the correct winner."
Based on that the California Lottery were positive Castro purchased the winning ticket before releasing his name. What sounds suspicious?
* l hear you but l am not buying it in its totality, because this Phantom menace said " he repeatedly asked Reggie to give the ticket back, but he refused." Listen up Pal, anyone with half a brain is not going to put up with " asked & refused." Its straight to the Cops after the VERY first plea for the ticket. We not talking a few hundred dollars here, we talking $2 billion dollars. If like you said, the guy reported the theft within 24 hours, l will lean into it, but right now as it stand's - He has 3 legs missing on that chair he is sitting on.
So if Jose Rivera bought the ticket and Reggie stole the ticket from Rivera, then how did Edwin Castro end up with it?
Maybe Rivera and Castro are in cahoots.
Meant to say Reggie and Castro are in cahoots.