California Lottery: Winner of $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot sued by man claiming winning ticket was stolen from him

ALTADENA, California– A man claims the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot ticket was stolen from him and is now trying to sue the person who claimed the prize.

On Valentine’s Day, the California Lottery announced that Edwin Castro had won the largest lottery jackpot of all time, and he opted for the $997.6 million lump sum payout. Castro was not present when the lottery was announced that day.

The winning ticket was purchased at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, Los Angeles County.

However, a man named Jose Rivera claimed he bought the winning ticket at the gas station on November 7, the day before the actual draw.

According to documents obtained by our sister broadcaster KABC-TV, Rivera claimed that another man, identified only as “Reggie,” stole the ticket.

Rivera said after the winning numbers were drawn, he kept asking to have the ticket back, but Reggie allegedly refused. He claimed Reggie threatened to destroy the ticket if he didn’t split the winnings.

The document said Rivera reported all of this information to law enforcement and the California Lottery.

The California Lottery has claimed it sometimes reviews surveillance footage to make sure it has the right winner.

KABC tried to speak to someone at Joe’s service center on Thursday, but no one would comment or confirm if the lottery had reviewed their November 2022 video.

The California Lottery issued the following statement:

“The California Lottery has no authority to investigate criminal activity among its players; such allegations will only be investigated by local law enforcement agencies. Should local law enforcement investigate such allegations, the Lottery’s sole role is to assist in the matter by answering questions and/or providing evidence as permitted by law.

Additionally, when it comes to the verification process for big winners, the California Lottery has the utmost confidence in their process. The California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the legitimate winner of the $2.04 billion prize from the November 2022 Powerball drawing.”

The proposed lawsuit names the California Lottery, Castro and Reggie as defendants.

Three other tickets sold in California matched five numbers in that draw but missed the Powerball number. Those tickets — sold in Gardena, Beaumont, and San Francisco — were each worth about $1.15 million. A total of 22 such tickets were sold nationwide.

The Powerball game is played in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. California Lottery: Winner of $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot sued by man claiming winning ticket was stolen from him

Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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