Lottery lawsuit claims real winner told ticket was ‘loser’

A California man suing Powerball winner Edwin Castro over a $2 billion winning ticket claims he was blackmailed and falsely told the ducat “was a loser.”

In court papers, Jose Rivera argues he’s the rightful owner of the $2.04 billion jackpot, buying the winning ticket Nov. 7, 2022 — a day before the drawing — from Joe’s Service Station in Altadena.

But a man identified as “Reggie,” Urachi F. Romero, allegedly “stole” the ticket and “refused” to return it despite Rivera’s requests, the complaint states. 

Rivera said he repeatedly asked “Reggie” to hand over the ticket once the winning numbers were revealed. 

Instead, “Reggie” told Rivera “the ticket was a loser” and “if I find the ticket we can split the winnings 50/50,” the suit states.

It’s unclear how the ticket wound up in Castro’s possession.

He took home a lump-sum of $997.6 million after revealing himself as the winner in February. 

Castro has since purchased two multimillion-dollar California homes, and a vintage $250,000 Porsche convertible. 

Rivera, however, says he reported the theft to police and the California Lottery, and repeatedly tried to notify the agency of his concerns. 

Edwin Castro photographed after withdrawing an envelope of cash from his local bank.
Diggzy/Jesal /

pictured is Edwin Castro's 13,578 square-foot mansioni mn the Hollywood Hills.
Edwin Castro’s 13,578 square-foot mansion boasts 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and is nestled in the star-studded Hollywood Hills.
Simon Berlyn/MEGA

Edwin Castro sis pictured with a friend as they board his vintage Porsche convertible in Los Angeles
Edwin Castro seen smiling with a friend as they board his vintage Porsche convertible in Los Angeles, California, on April 26, 2023.
Diggzy/Jesal /

He believes store surveillance images will prove his case and has requested the state lotto agency “make available for our review all video depicting the purchase of the winning ticket.”

But the California Lottery has said it “remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner.”

In the latest twist in an already bizarre case, Castro is now seeking to quash any notion that he was properly served papers related to the suit.

pictured is California Lottery Director Alva Johnson announcing the winner of record-high $2.04 billion PowerBall jackpot
California Lottery Director Alva Johnson announces that Edwin Castro won November’s record-high $2.04 billion PowerBall jackpot on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in Sacramento, Calif. 

 pictured is Bbusiness owner Joe Chahayed holding a check outside Joe's Service Center in Altadena
 Business owner Joe Chahayed holds a check outside Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, northeast of Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. 

Pictured is Joes Service Center, which  sold the $2.04 billion-winning Powerball ticket.
Joes Service Center, a Mobil gas station at Woodbury Road and Fair Oaks Avenue in Altadena that sold the $2.04 billion-winning Powerball ticket.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Rivera’s legal team mistakenly sued – and process served – Castro’s father, who goes by the same first and last names but has a different middle initial.

“The Edwin Castro served was not the winner of the Powerball jackpot referenced in the Complaint,” his motion states.