$340m Win Dispute: American Sues Lottery Company

John Cheeks, a resident of Washington DC, has initiated legal proceedings against both Powerball and the DC Lottery.

Cheeks’ hopes soared when he thought he’d hit a $340 million (£270 million) jackpot, only to have Powerball and the DC Lottery retract their announcement, saying his numbers had been mistakenly published.

Powerball, a popular American lottery game, is available in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As the new year dawned in January 2023, Cheeks experienced a surge of excitement when he found that Powerball’s winning numbers aligned perfectly with those on his ticket.

However, his hopes were dashed when the Office of Lottery and Gaming dismissed his claim, prompting Cheeks to initiate legal proceedings against the lottery to recover damages amounting to the $340 million Powerball jackpot, along with the daily interest he would have garnered.

He said, ‘One of the claims agents told me my ticket was no good, just to throw it in the trash can.’

Cheeks has filed a lawsuit with eight separate allegations, including breach of contract, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and fraud.

Read also: Nigeria Excluded As US Begins Lottery Program For 2025

Documents submitted to the court show that Powerball and its lottery contractor, Taoti Enterprises headquartered in DC, point to a technical mistake as the source of the confusion.

A Taoti staff member mentioned in a court document that on January 6, 2023 – the same day Mr. Cheeks made his ticket purchase – a quality assurance team was performing tests on the website.

According to court records, on that day, a group of test Powerball numbers, coincidentally aligning with Mr. Cheeks’ chosen numbers, was inadvertently made public on the website. These numbers were visible for three days, until January 9th, despite not reflecting the numbers drawn in the recent lottery draw.

Africa Today News, New York, received no response from either Powerball or Taoti when seeking comment on the case.

‘This lawsuit raises critical questions about the integrity and accountability of lottery operations and the safeguards – or lack thereof – against the type of errors that Powerball and the DC Lottery contend occurred in this case,’ Cheeks’ lawyer, Richard Evans, told the BBC.

He maintains that the winning numbers match Cheeks’ choices, granting him the “complete jackpot,” and emphasizes that it goes beyond mere website numbers; it speaks to the credibility of institutions offering life-altering chances while profiting substantially.

In his address, Cheeks voiced his confidence in the legal system, asserting that he is confident that justice will be served.

The hearing for the case is scheduled for February 23rd.

Africa Today News, New York

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