Edwin Castro, the Powerball winner who landed a $2 billion jackpot last year has been served with legal papers claiming that the winning lotto ticket was stolen, according to reports. Castro, 30, was at his new $25 million Hollywood Hills estate, in California, when he was served with the lawsuit on Thursday.
Plaintiff Jose Rivera claims in the February lawsuit initially filed in Alhambra Superior Court that he was the one who purchased the big-money ticket. The winning Powerball ticket for the enthralling November drawing was sold at Joe's Service Center in Altadena, California. However, now fresh claims have been made about the actual Powerball winner.
Won or Stolen?
The lucky lottery billionaire Edwin Castro's opulent estate, which features seven bedrooms, an infinity pool, and a spa, was visited by two process servers on April 25. When they arrived, a man in his 50s tried to avoid them at first, according to court documents, The Sun reported.
"The subject said we are serving the wrong Edwin Castro," the papers said. "I advised the subject to contact the attorney if any questions or concerns."
On May 17, a document of service was finally submitted, stating that a man at the expensive residence eventually took the papers, so formally serving notice.
Castro purchased the winning ticket, and according to officials with the California Lottery, he is the legitimate owner of the $2 billion jackpot.
However, that hasn't stopped Jose Rivera from filing a lawsuit claiming ownership of the winning ticket.
Rivera claimed to have purchased the prized ticket at an Altadena gas station, the day before the November 8 drawing, which included a record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot.
According to Rivera, a man by the name of "Reggie" grabbed the ticket and refused to give it back, claiming it was a dud. Reggie allegedly added that he would forfeit half the prize money if it ended up being a winner.
Rivera claimed he refused to be intimidated and informed the police and lottery officials about the suspected crime.
According to a U.S. Sun report, Castro and Reggie were both named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff says that the security video from Joe's Service Center, which he claims proves his identity as the ticket's original purchaser, is the key piece of evidence.
"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," a letter submitted to the California Lottery by Riveria's legal team said.
"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."
Big Money, Two Claimants
The winning ticket, which had the numbers 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and Powerball 10, was purchased at the Altadena location, which also received a $1 million reward. According to employees at the Service Center, there isn't much proof that the ticket was stolen, as reported by DailyMail.com.
"California Lottery have strict regulations about how they choose a winner, this guy is crazy, he came in here with his attorney yelling about it and there's nothing we can do," a worker said.
According to the employee, lottery officials collected CCTV footage and examined it frame by frame in search of the verified winner.
"When it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so," the California lottery said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
"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."
According to lottery director Alva Johnson at the time, Castro turned down a request from lottery officials to attend the press announcement because he wanted to keep his winnings private.
"As much as I am shocked and ecstatic to have won the Powerball drawing, the real winner is the California public school system," Castro said in a statement.
The lawsuit was initially filed in February when Castro finally came forward and received the $997.6 million lump-sum payment.
The winner used the money to purchase two multi-million dollar homes, one of which is a 13,500 square foot house with a game room, wine cellar, movie theater, bar, infinity pool, spa, and fitness center with hot and cold plunge pools.
Castro has also added at least one lavish new vehicle to his collection to match his income boost: a vintage, white $250,000 Porsche.
Three guards alternately protect him round the clock his home.