Attorneys for a man suing the California State Lottery Commission, alleging he is the rightful winner of the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot in November, have filed new court papers identifying the man they allege stole the winning ticket from their client.
In a lawsuit brought Feb. 22 in Alhambra Superior Court, plaintiff Jose Rivera maintains he bought the victorious ticket at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena the day before the Nov. 8 drawing, but that it was stolen by someone identified only as “Reggie,” a co-defendant in the suit, on the same day.
In court papers filed Monday, Rivera’s lawyers identified “Reggie” as Urachi F. Romero, who could not be immediately reached for comment.
Rivera asked Romero numerous times to return the ticket, but he refused, telling that plaintiff among other things that the two could split the winnings if he found the ticket, according to the suit, which further states that Rivera refused to be blackmailed and reported the alleged theft to the commission and to law enforcement.
State officials have denied Rivera’s claim that he is the lottery winner, insisting that Edwin Castro, also a defendant in the suit, is the proper winner as announced on Feb. 14.
“When it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so,” Carolyn Becker, a spokesperson for the California Lottery, said previously. “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.”