An American filed a lawsuit against the lottery: due to a technical error, he 'lost' $340 million - ForumDaily
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An American sued the lottery: due to a technical error, he 'lost' $340 million

Washington resident John Cheeks saw that his lottery ticket numbers matched the numbers on the lottery website. That meant he won the $340 million jackpot. But Powerball and DC Lottery say it was a technical error, reports with the BBC.

Photo: iStock.com/JuSun

As Cheeks himself said, when he first saw the winning Powerball numbers match his ticket in January 2023, he was simply speechless.

When the lucky winner presented his ticket to the Office of Lotteries and Gaming (OLG), they refused to pay him the winnings.

“One of the agents told me that my ticket was no good and could just be thrown in the trash,” he said.

Cheeks, however, did not follow this advice, but instead kept the ticket and found a lawyer.

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Now he's seeking damages from the lottery equal to the Powerball jackpot, plus the interest he would have received on it every day—a total of $340 million.

Random error

According to court documents, Powerball and the lottery's contractor, Washington-based Taoti Enterprises, claim the mix-up was due to a technical error.

In a court filing, a Taoti employee said that on January 6, 2023 (the day Cheeks bought his ticket), a quality control team was conducting tests on the site.

According to court documents, on that day the site "accidentally" posted a set of Powerball test numbers that matched Cheeks' numbers. These numbers remained online for three days, until January 9. According to a Taoti employee, the numbers posted on the website did not match the numbers that were drawn during the last lottery draw.

Cheeks filed suit on eight separate counts, including breach of contract, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and fraud.

His lawyer, Richard Evans, said that because the winning numbers matched Cheeks's, he was entitled to "the entire jackpot." Otherwise, Evans argues, his client is entitled to damages for the lottery's "gross negligence" in posting erroneous lottery numbers.

“This lawsuit raises critical questions about the integrity and accountability of lottery operations and the safeguards—or lack thereof—against the errors that Powerball and DC Lottery allege occurred in this case,” Evans said.

“This is not just about numbers on a website, but about the credibility of institutions that promise life-changing opportunities while making significant profits,” he said.

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Cheeks hasn't given up hope. “I know that justice will be done,” he said, noting that winning the lottery would change his life and the life of his family.

According to the plaintiff, if he wins, he plans to open a trust bank to help aspiring home owners.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 23.

The odds of Cheeks or anyone else winning the jackpot are extremely small—about one in 292,2 million. By comparison, the chance of being struck by lightning in the next year is 1 in 1,22 million, according to the National Weather Service.

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