Man Sues Powerball for $340 Million for Posting Incorrect Lottery Numbers on Website

The man claims his "winning" numbers were left on the website for three full days.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A man from Washington, D.C., is suing Powerball lottery organizers for posting the wrong winning numbers, which he thought he had to secure the jackpot.

According to the lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Washington, D.C., John Cheeks picked numbers 7, 15, 23, 32, and 40 with a Powerball number of 2 on his ticket. On the Jan. 7, 2023 drawing, the D.C. Lottery board posted the same numbers on their website. Cheeks saw the numbers the next day and believed he had won the $340 million prize.

However, when he went to cash in his lottery ticket, he was denied the jackpot. Cheeks then took matters into his own hands by filing a complaint with the district's Office of Lottery and Gaming, where he was also denied. 

In one of the hearings that Cheeks requested, Taoti, the company in charge of the D.C. Lottery website, claimed that they posted the wrong numbers and kept them up for three full days. The lawsuit also states that the executive director of the Office of Lottery and Gaming supported Taoti's claim and denied Cheeks his prize.

"Because the winning numbers on the D.C. Lottery website matched the numbers on the Plaintiff's Powerball lottery ticket, the Plaintiff is entitled to the entire jackpot that was then available," Cheeks' attorneys argues in the lawsuit. "This Court should enforce that prize."

Cheeks' lawyers also stated their client is still entitled to damages if the court rules he didn't win the jackpot because of the defendants' "gross negligence" for posting the mistaken numbers, leaving them up for an extended time, trying to hide the mistake, and more.

The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the case, while Cheeks is seeking $340 million in compensatory damages, costs, and attorney fees, as well as asking for a jury trial.

Rick Evans, one of Cheeks' attorneys, told CBS News that the 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 D.C. Lottery admit occurred in this case." 

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