In February, Jose Rivera, a resident of Altadena, California, filed a lawsuit against Edwin Castro, the winner of the $2.08 billion Powerball jackpot, claiming that he, not Castro, was the rightful owner of the winning ticket.
Rivera’s lawsuit came just one week after Castro claimed the massive prize on February 15, asserting that he had purchased the winning ticket from Joe’s Service Center on November 7, 2022.
According to information from Lisa Derderian, the public information officer for the City of Pasadena, investigators are now casting doubt on Rivera’s claim that the winning ticket was stolen from him by his ex-landlord, Urachi F. “Reggie” Romero, one day before the drawing.
In May, Romero told The New York Post that he believed Rivera was the true owner of the winning ticket, recalling the reasons Rivera had given for selecting each of the numbers on the ticket. Rivera explained that the number 10 represented the date of both his parents’ passing, while 47 corresponded to his age. The number 56 was chosen to honor his father’s love for 1956 Chevy trucks.
Romero stated that Rivera had provided these explanations before the drawing took place. However, Romero denied any involvement in taking the ticket from Rivera and claimed to have no knowledge of how it ended up with Castro.
The California Lottery expressed confidence in Castro as the rightful winner at the time of the drawing, stating that they were not authorized to investigate criminal activities among their players.
Despite initially closing the investigation, the Pasadena Police Department announced in June that they would reopen it, collaborating closely with California Lottery investigators. According to Derderian, the Pasadena police have forwarded the documentation to the City Prosecutor for potential misdemeanor charges related to Rivera’s allegedly false police report.
Meanwhile, Castro, who has consistently denied Rivera’s allegations through his attorneys, has been investing his newfound wealth in luxury properties in Los Angeles, including a $47 million seven-bedroom mansion in Bel Air with an infinity pool.
David De Paoli, Castro’s lawyer, maintained that it would become evident in due course that his client is the legitimate winner of the Powerball jackpot.
Earlier this month, another California resident won a massive $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot, sparking questions among online users about the credibility of Powerball wins, given that four of the top five largest jackpots were claimed in the Golden State, according to Powerball data.