February 19, 2024 3 min read


Powerball, DC Lottery Face Lawsuit over Alleged Winning Numbers Error

A man filed a lawsuit against DC Lottery and Powerball after he wasn't able to redeem $300 million jackpot due to a mistake

As exciting as winning a jackpot can be, sometimes matching all lottery numbers doesn’t guarantee a grand prize. That is in case there is a mistake with the announced winning numbers as opposed to the numbers drawn. This is precisely what happened to a Washington D.C. man who was sure he won the Powerball grand prize but was later told that he didn’t hit the jackpot due to a mistake in the announced winning numbers.

The peculiar case dates back to January last year when John Cheeks purchased a Powerball ticket. At the time, the grand prize of the popular game surpassed $300 million, which is why he thought of trying his luck. The ticket Cheeks purchased on January 6, 2023, was for the drawing on January 7, 2023. The numbers he picked were reportedly symbolic as they were related to birthdays and other important dates for his family.

While Cheeks did not watch the TV drawing on January 7, 2023, he accessed Powerball’s website on January 8, 2023. To his surprise, the ticket he purchased days earlier matched all the winning numbers from the latest drawing. Hitting the life-changing $320 million jackpot, Cheeks, who was recently interviewed by NBC 4, spoke to a friend and he was told to take a photo of the winning numbers and his ticket.

He said: “I got a little excited, but I didn’t shout, I didn’t scream. I just politely called a friend. I took a picture as he recommended, and that was it. I went to sleep.”

The Lottery Player Files Lawsuit

To his unpleasant surprise, once Cheeks tried to redeem the prize, he was told that his ticket wasn’t a winning one. Cheeks reportedly attempted to redeem the ticket at a licensed retailer, as well as at the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming. He recalled being told: “Hey, this ticket is no good. Just throw it in the trash can… You’re not gonna get paid. There’s a trash can right there.”

In light of this unexpected turn of events, Cheeks filed a lawsuit against Powerball and the D.C. Lottery in November, claiming that the numbers posted on the lottery’s website for January 7, 2023, matched his ticket’s numbers but he was not allowed to redeem the $300-million prize.

The lucky player claimed he was told that one of Powerball’s contractors “made a mistake.” Regardless, he argued that the numbers that matched his ticket stayed the same via the Powerball website for three days. In the meantime, the jackpot increased to $340 million which is what the player seeks to redeem.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *