A California Powerball winner is accused of stealing a lottery ticket worth more than $2 billion. The lottery winner was served with lawsuit papers at his newly purchased mansion in Hollywood Hills, California.
Last year, Edwin Castro won the Powerball lottery jackpot of $2.04 billion after purportedly purchasing the winning ticket from Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, California, on Nov. 7, 2022.
As previously reported in TheBlaze, Castro elected to take home the lump sum prize money of $997.6 million in February 2023.
Castro used the lottery winnings to purchase two multimillion-dollar California homes and a vintage Porsche convertible reportedly worth $250,000.
In the same month, a lawsuit was filed in California claiming that the winning lottery ticket had been stolen.
Jose Rivera contends that he is the rightful owner of the winning Powerball ticket.
Rivera alleged that a person named "Reggie" stole the ticket from him the day it was purchased.
"Rivera said after the winning numbers were drawn, he kept asking to get the ticket back but Reggie allegedly refused," according to KABC-TV. "He claims Reggie threatened to destroy the ticket if he did not split the winnings."
"Reggie" has been identified as Urachi F. Romero. Castro and Romero are listed as co-defendants in the Alhambra Superior Court case.
Rivera believes that a surveillance camera will show that he is the true owner of the life-changing lottery ticket.
The New York Post reported, "He believes store surveillance images will prove his case and has requested the state lotto agency 'make available for our review all video depicting the purchase of the winning ticket.'"
Rivera claims he "refused to be blackmailed," according to court documents.
Rivera's legal team stated in a letter to the California Lottery, "In an effort to hopefully reach a prompt resolution of this matter involving the rightful owner of the $2.04 Billion Powerball winning ticket, our client, Jose Rivera, again requests the ‘Lottery’ make available for our review all video depicting the purchase of the winning ticket."
The letter continued, "We understand the 'Lottery' took possession of the video shortly after it was determined the winning ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, California."
A spokesperson for the California Lottery stated, "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."
On May 17, lawsuit papers were delivered to Castro at his $25.5 million mansion in Hollywood Hills, California. The swanky 13,578-square-foot property, reportedly located near the homes of pop star Ariana Grande and TV host Jimmy Kimmel, has five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a wine cellar.
The U.S. Sun reported, "A case management conference and proof of service hearing have now been set for July 24 at the courthouse in Alhambra, CA, with Rivera being represented by attorneys Estela Richeda and Brian Kramer."
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