Lawsuit claims California man stole winning Powerball ticket

A California man who claimed the Record $2 Billion Powerball Lottery Jackpot last year you can go to court to defend your winnings.

Edwin Castro received legal documents at his home in the Hollywood Hills this week, notifying him of a pending lawsuit, the US Sun reported. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County in February, accuses Castro of stealing the winning ticket from a California neighbor named Jose Rivera. In his lawsuit, Rivera lists the California Lottery Commission and California resident Urachi “Reggie” Romero as defendants.

Rivera’s attorneys, Brian Kramer and Estela Richeda, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. Castro’s attorney, David De Paoli, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment to confirm that his client had been notified.

According to the lawsuit, Rivera purchased the Powerball ticket at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, on November 7, 2022. Around that same day, Rivera claims, Romero stole the ticket. Rivera demanded his ticket back numerous times, but Romero refused, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit does not share details about how Castro obtained the winning ticket.

Castro’s Powerball victory made national news last year when the jackpot increased to billions of dollars. The jackpot was by far the largest lottery prize ever won, surpassing Powerball’s previous record of $1.59 billion that was split among three winners in 2016.

Lottery officials said Castro selected the lump sum payment and received a staggering $997.6 million. He chose not to reveal at a press conference.

California Ticket Wins Record $2.04 Billion Powerball Jackpot

A few months after the victory, Castro I bought a $25 million bachelor house, CBS affiliate KCAL reported. The three-story mansion has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two powder rooms, and features a gym, cold-water pool, wine cellar, movie theater, and sauna.

Castro also bought a smaller $4 million property this year in Altadena, not far from the store where the Powerball ticket was purchased, KCAL reported.

The California Lottery has said it is confident that Castro is the legitimate winner of the jackpot, releasing a statement in February that scrutinizes everyone who steps forward to claim prize money and “has the utmost confidence in their process for doing so.” The allegations Rivera brought forward will be investigated by local police and not the public agency, the California Lottery Commission said.

Despite the confidence of the lottery commission, the lawsuit goes ahead. The next major hearing in the case is scheduled for July 24.