(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 6:00 PM PT – Friday, February 24, 2023
An Altadena, California man has claimed that his winning $2 Billion Powerball ticket was stolen by a friend.
On Valentines Day, Edwin Castro was announced by the California Lottery as the winner of the largest-ever lottery jackpot in history. The ticket was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California. According to the California Lottery website, the lottery is required to share the winner’s full name and where they bought the ticket. Castro was not present for the lottery announcement.
Another California man named Jose Rivera has come forward claiming he bought the winning ticket at the Altadena service center on November 7th. According to KABC-TV Los Angeles, Rivera has alleged that another man named “Reggie” stole the ticket from him.
After the winning numbers were drawn, Rivera claimed he kept asking Reggie to give him back the ticket. Reggie said that he would destroy the ticket if Rivera did not split the winnings.
It has been reported that Rivera has filed a lawsuit against “Reggie” accusing him of stealing the winning Powerball ticket. Rivera’s lawsuit also named Edwin Castro as a separate defendant. He claimed to have already reported this information to law enforcement and the California Lottery before the lawsuit.
CALIFORNIA: Jose Rivera filed a lawsuit claiming that the winning Powerball ticket worth $2.04 billion presented to the state lottery this month by Edwin Castro had been stolen from him.
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) February 24, 2023
California Lottery Spokesperson Carolyn Becker released the following statement:
“[The] 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,” she stated. “The California Lottery is not authorized to investigate criminal activity among its players; such allegations are subject to investigation only by local law enforcement. 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.”
According to Powerball rules, winners have up to 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim the prize. Castro has contacted California Lottery officials offering to take the lump-sum cash payment of $997.6 million.