Powerball player wins $340 million jackpot but lottery says winning number was an error

Stephen Nartey February 19, 2024
John Cheeks/Photo credit: NBC Washington

A Powerball player has alleged that he was denied a $340 million jackpot despite his numbers matching the lottery’s website, which Powerball dismisses as a “mistake.”

John Cheeks, the plaintiff, purchased a ticket on January 6, 2023, during the jackpot’s rise, leading to a lawsuit against Powerball and the DC Lottery. Cheeks, who chose his ticket numbers based on family birthdates, missed the live drawing but checked the DC Lottery’s website the next day, according to the New York Post.

He wasn’t in a hurry because he knew winning the jackpot was usually one in 292.2 million. But, to his amazement, when he checked the DC Lottery’s website, he saw his numbers matched, believing he had won the jackpot, despite the daunting odds.

“I just politely called a friend. I took a picture as he recommended, and that was it. I went to sleep,” Cheeks said.

He found his ticket numbers displayed on the DC Lottery website for three days after the drawing, only to realize they didn’t match the live broadcast numbers when he attempted to redeem his ticket on January 10.

Despite his efforts, he was informed by a retailer and the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming prize center that he did not win the jackpot.

“Hey, this ticket is no good. Just throw it in the trash can,’” Cheeks recalled to the outlet. “And I gave him a stern look. I said, ‘In the trash can?’ ‘Oh yeah, just throw it away. You’re not gonna get paid. There’s a trash can right there.’”

Cheeks has since placed the disputed ticket in a secure deposit box. His lawyer, Richard Evans, disclosed that a lottery contractor informed Cheeks that Taoti Enterprises, a digital advertising agency in DC managing the lottery website, made an error by posting inaccurate numbers.

“They have said that one of their contractors made a mistake,” Evans told NBC 4. “I haven’t seen the evidence to support that yet.”

Evans believes that despite Cheeks not having the correct numbers from the live drawing, action should be taken to address the situation for his client.

“Even if a mistake was made, the question becomes: What do you do about that?”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 19, 2024


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