October 27, 2023 3 min read


Self-Proclaimed Powerball Winner May Face Misdemeanor Charges

The California man who has claimed to be the rightful Powerball winner and recipient of the biggest lottery prize on the planet may face misdemeanor charges for filing a false police report

In February, Jose Rivera from Altadena, California sued Edwin Castro, the winner of the massive $2.08 billion Powerball prize, claiming that he was not the rightful owner of the winning ticket. 

One week after Castro went into the spotlight with bells and whistles and claimed the mouth-watering prize on February 15, Rivera made the surprising announcement, claiming that it was actually he, and not Castro, who purchased the very lucky ticket from Joe’s Service Center on November 7, 2022.

Now, according to information from the City of Pasadena’s public information officer, Lisa Derderian, reported by The US Sun, investigators seem to suspect that Rivera had lied regarding the stolen ticket. 

Rivera Claims His Ex-Landlord Stole the Ticket From Him

In February, Rivera claimed that the ticket that he allegedly bought from the service center owned by Joe Chahayed was stolen from him by his ex-landlord, Urachi F. “Reggie” Romero, one day prior to the bin draw.

During an interview with The New York Post in May, Romero said he believed Rivera was the actual owner of the winning ticket. He remembered Rivera’s explanations regarding each of the numbers that he picked on the ticket: 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and red Powerball 10.

Romero recalled asking Rivera about the reason why he selected two 10s, and receiving the explanation that the 10th represented the date when both of his parents had passed away. 

Rivera also told Romero that he had chosen the number 47 because it represented his age. The number 56 was chosen as a means of celebrating his father’s love for 1956 Chevy trucks. 

Romero concluded that Rivera seemed to have a reason behind every marked number on the ticket. The said conversation took place prior to the draw, according to Rivera’s former landlord. 

Nonetheless, Romero denied having taken the winning ticket from Rivera. He also denied having any sort of connection to Castro, adding that he was not aware of how the ticket had reached Castro.

The Formal Police Investigation, Relaunched in June

At the time of the draw, California Lottery expressed their confidence in Castro being the rightful winner of the huge prize while explaining they were not “authorized” to investigate any type of criminal activity among their players.

After it originally shut down the initial investigation into the complicated matter, the Pasadena Police Department announced it would relaunch a formal investigation in June

They also mentioned a close collaboration with investigators representing the California Lottery.

According to reports from Derderian, the Pasadena police department has now sent the documentation to the City Prosecutor “for potential misdemeanor charges” regarding a potentially false police report filed by Rivera. 

In the meanwhile, Castro, who has constantly denied all of Rivera’s allegations through the voice of his lawyers, has been busy spending his money on luxury property in Los Angeles, including a $47 million seven-bedroom mansion with an infinity pool in Bel Air, overlooking downtown L.A.

Castro’s lawyer, David De Paoli, explained that “at some point”, it will become clear to everyone his client is the rightful owner of the winning Powerball ticket. 

Earlier this month, another very lucky Powerball player from California hit the massive $1.76 billion jackpot. The news triggered some online users to raise questions regarding the credibility of Powerball wins, since, according to Powerball data, four of the top five biggest jackpots were won in The Golden State

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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