The California Powerball winner who landed a $2 billion jackpot last year was served legal papers at his $25.5 million Hollywood Hills estate in a suit claiming the ticket was stolen, according to a report.
A pair of process servers arrived on April 25 at lucky lottery billionaire Edwin Castro’s palatial estate — where amenities include seven bedrooms, an infinity pool and a spa — and were greeted by a man in his 50s who initially tried to dodge the suit, the US Sun reported, citing court filings.
“The subject said we are serving the wrong Edwin Castro,” the papers said. “I advised the subject to contact the attorney if any questions or concerns.”
Proof of service was eventually filed on May 17, saying that a man at the pricey digs eventually took the papers, thus officially giving notice.
The suit against Castro, which was first filed earlier this year, claims he is not the rightful winner, as the ticket was bought by plaintiff Jose Rivera and soon stolen from him.
Rivera claims he was the one who bought the valuable stub at a gas station in Altadena the day before the November 8 drawing, which was worth a record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot.
Rivera claims it was nabbed by a man called “Reggie” that same day — who has since been identified as Urachi F. Romero and is listed as a co-defendant in the Alhambra Superior Court case.
The complaint, however, reportedly does not explain the circumstances of the alleged theft, including how the ticket may have gotten from Romero to Castro.
Romero allegedly refused Rivera’s demands that he return the ticket, instead claiming to have lost it, but offered to split the winnings should he eventually find it.
Rivera claims he “refused to be blackmailed” and reported the alleged theft to the commission and to law enforcement.
The plaintiff believes the evidence lies in surveillance footage taken at the station, Joe’s Service Center, which he claims proves he was the one who bought the historic ticket.
“In an effort to hopefully reach a prompt resolution of this matter involving the rightful owner of the $2.04 Billion Powerball winning ticket, our client, Jose Rivera, again requests the ‘Lottery’ make available for our review all video depicting the purchase of the winning ticket,” a letter submitted to the California Lottery by Rivera’s legal team said.
“We understand the ‘Lottery’ took possession of the video shortly after it was determined the winning ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Station in Altadena, California.”
Here's everything to know about the $2B Powerball jackpot lawsuit
Edwin Castro claimed a winning $2 billion Powerball ticket in February and opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $997.6 million
With his money, Castro purchased a $25.5 million Hollywood Hills mansion in March that’s stacked with amenities, including 7 bedrooms and an infinity pool.
On April 25, however, process servers brought court papers to Castro’s home, in a suit claiming the winning ticket was stolen.
Jose Rivera claims he purchased the winning ticket on Nov. 7, 2022, the day before the drawing.
Rivera is suing Castro and his former landlord Urachi “Reggie” Romero, who he claims stole his ticket and told him it was a “loser.”
Romero has denied stealing the ticket but supported Rivera’s claim that he was the rightful ticket holder.
California Lottery officials said they are confident Castro is the rightful winner.
The lawsuit was initially filed in February when Castro finally came forward and took home the lump-sum cash payment of $997.6 million.
The winner used the money to buy two multimillion-dollar homes — one of which is a 13,500-square-foot mansion that includes a game room, wine cellar, movie theater, bar, infinity pool, spa, and a fitness studio with hot and cold plunge pools.
Castro has also purchased at least one lavish new whip to match his income boost — a vintage, white $250,000 Porsche.
He has a rotation of three guards who protect him and his home around the clock.
The California Lottery has stood behind Castro since.
“When it comes to the vetting process for big winners, California Lottery has the utmost confidence in its process for doing so,” a spokesperson said at the time.
“California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion prize stemming from the Powerball drawing in November of 2022.”