A judge Monday affirmed his earlier ruling that a man who allegedly made an unsubstantiated claim in a lawsuit to be entitled to a $63 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot that lottery officials said was never picked up by the actual winning party must pay more than $260,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the state.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rupert Byrdsong had issued the ruling in March, but the plaintiff, Brandy Milliner, filed a motion to vacate the order.
Milliner argued Byrdsong failed to look at the evidence in the light most favorable to him and that the amount should be reduce to zero. Byrdsong heard arguments on Milliner’s motion and denied it, ordering Milliner to pay a total of about $261,785.
Byrdsong inherited the case from Judge Yvette Palazuelos, who in July 2018 dismissed the lawsuit Milliner brought against the state of California and the Lottery Commission in February 2016.
During a hearing on its motion for dismissal, the California Attorney General’s Office presented declarations and exhibits. Deputy Attorney General Neil Houston stated in his court papers that Milliner’s ticket was bought miles away at another 7-Eleven store.
The $63 million ticket — the largest California Lottery jackpot forfeited — was purchased for the Aug. 8, 2015, drawing at the 7-Eleven store at 20871 Lassen St. in Chatsworth. If the winner had come forward and taken a lump sum payment, he or she would have received $39.9 million before taxes.
By examining the paper stock on Milliner’s ticket, Lottery officials determined that he bought it at a 7-Eleven store at 4051 Leimert Blvd. in Los Angeles, according to Houston’s court papers.
Further examination showed that Milliner purchased his ticket on July 10, 2015, Houston’s court papers state.
Although Milliner claimed he bought the ticket at the Chatsworth 7-Eleven while in the area to pick up a friend from work the afternoon of Aug. 8, 2015, the Lottery records show the real winning ticket was actually bought at that store the morning of the day before, according to Houston’s court papers.
After winning dismissal of Milliner’s suit, the Lottery Commission then sought recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs from Milliner.
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