After a man claimed he possessed the winning ticket before it was snatched from him, the California Lottery maintains that it has validated the rightful winner of the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball prize.
José Rivera stated in a lawsuit filed on February 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court that he bought the winning ticket at Joe's Service Center in Altadena the day before the drawing, but that it was taken on the same day by "Reggie," who is a defendant in the action.
As they revealed on February 14, state officials reaffirmed that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner, rejecting Rivera's assertion that he is the lottery winner.
Carolyn Becker, a spokesman for the California Lottery, told ABC News in a statement that the lottery has "the highest confidence in its method for doing so" when it comes to the screening of large winners.
The California Lottery is still certain that Edwin Castro is the legitimate recipient of the $2.04 billion jackpot from the Powerball drawing in November 2022.
After the winning numbers were revealed, Reggie was reportedly asked by Rivera to give him back the ticket. However, Rivera reportedly refused, saying that Reggie was attempting to use blackmail to force him to share the payout 50/50.
According to the lawsuit, Rivera claimed to not be aware of Reggie's real name, which is a made-up name.
"The genuine names... are unknown to plaintiff at this time and, thus, plaintiff sues said defendants by said fictitious names, and when the true names and capacities of said defendant are established, plaintiff will modify this complaint accordingly," the lawsuit stated.
Castro purchased the winning ticket at Joe's Service Center before the drawing on November 8 and was declared the winner of $2.04 billion by the California Lottery.