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HomeNewsWashington Man Sues Powerball Lottery After Hearing $340 Million Win Was a...

Washington Man Sues Powerball Lottery After Hearing $340 Million Win Was a Mistake

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Source: UNILAD

A man in Washington, DC, initiated legal action against the Powerball lottery after being denied a $340 million jackpot despite his ticket supposedly matching the winning combination displayed on the lottery’s website.

John Cheeks, the aggrieved individual, bought a Powerball ticket on January 6, selecting numbers that held personal significance, including family birthdates. According to Mr. Cheeks, he did not witness the live draw the following day but discovered his numbers listed as the winning combination when he checked the Powerball website.

In an interview with NBC, he recounted his reaction: “I got a little excited, but I didn’t shout, I didn’t scream. I just politely called a friend. I took a picture as he recommended, and that was it. I went to sleep.”

Mr. Cheeks said a staff member told him to throw his ticket in a bin by the lottery office in DC, but instead, he kept it in a safe deposit box and contacted a lawyer.

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Powerball lottery tickets are displayed October 4, 2023, in Surfside, Florida (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)© Provided by The Independent

“Hey, this ticket is no good. Just throw it in the trash can,” Mr Cheeks said, recalling the exchange at the office. “And I gave him a stern look. I said, ‘In the trash can?’ ‘Oh yeah, just throw it away. You’re not gonna get paid. There’s a trash can right there.'”

Other defendants named in the lawsuit were the Multi-State Lottery Association and game contractor Taoti Enterprise were other defendants in the lawsuits.

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However, Mr. Cheeks’joyn turned to dismay when his attempt to claim the prize at the Office of Lottery and Gaming (OLG) was rebuffed. The OLG clarified that the number shown on the Powerball website was part of a test run and did not correspond to the actual winning combination drawn live on January 7. 

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“Defendants made a false representation, when they announced a different winning number, two or more days after the announcement of the winning Powerball number on January 7, 2023 thru January 9, 2023 and alleged system error,” the lawsuit said.

Consequently, Mr. Cheeks’ ticket was not recognized as a winner when presented at the OLG. Despite being advised by a staff member to dispose of his ticket, Mr. Cheeks retained it in a safe deposit box and sought legal recourse.

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In his lawsuit, Mr. Cheeks alleges that the defendants misrepresented the winning number by announcing a different number several days after the actual draw, attributing it to a purported system error. Brittany Bailey, a project manager at Taoti, acknowledged in a court declaration that the company’s quality assurance team inadvertently posted a test Powerball number on the website. The test numbers, however, did not match the winning combination drawn by the Powerball lottery.

READ ALSO: Massachusetts Woman Wins the Lottery, Chooses $390,000 Over $25,000 Yearly for Life

Richard Evans, Mr. Cheeks’ attorney, questioned the validity of the claim made by Powerball’s contractor, emphasizing the lack of supporting evidence. He cited a precedent set in a similar case last year involving the Iowa Lottery, where the lottery acknowledged a “human reporting error. Still, he allowed temporary winners to retain their prizes.

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