Man Sues Powerball After They Wouldn’t Award Him $340 Million Jackpot Win

By Jason Hall

February 20, 2024

Two Multi-State Lotteries Each Offer Over $400 Jackpots
Photo: Getty Images

A Washington, D.C. man is suing Powerball after he was notified that his believed $340 million jackpot win was actually an error.

John Cheeks, 60, thought he won the Powerball drawing on January 7, 2023, after the numbers on his ticket matched those mistakenly posted online. Cheeks said he attempted to redeem the prize, but was denied by Powerball officials, in the complaint filed in November 2023, which alleges he was deprived due to "unlawful collusion" by Powerball, the Multi-State Lottery Association and Taoti Enterprises, which operates the D.C. Lottery website.

The lawsuit claims that the named defendants didn't honor the posted winning numbers on the Powerball website, which were "7-15-23-32-40" and the No. 2 Powerball, matching Cheeks' Powerball ticket.

“This is not merely about numbers on a website; it's about the reliability of institutions that promise life-changing opportunities, while heavily profiting in the process," attorney Rick Evans, who is representing Cheeks, told USA TODAY. "... We intend to collect every penny to which (Cheeks) is entitled to right this wrong."

Cheeks said he didn't rush to check his ticket until the following day and the numbers remained posted to the D.C. Lottery website for the next three days.

“I couldn't believe my eyes so I turned my laptop off, unplugged it, took it down and started it up again," Cheeks said via USA TODAY. "There were the numbers again, matching my ticket."

Taoti claimed it "accidentally" posted the numbers matching Cheeks' ticket on January 7, acknowledging that the "mistake" wasn't corrected until January 9. Officials at the claim center reportedly told Cheeks to throw his ticket "in the trash can" and said they weren't "going to pay you for it."

Brittany Bailey, the project manager at Taoti, called Cheeks' actions an "attempted scheme" to capitalize on an "obvious error" on the D.C. Lottery website in court documents.

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