Washington D.C. Resident Sues Powerball Lottery For More Than $340 Million After Alleged Winning Ticket Is Denied Due To Website Mistake

John Cheeks

Washington D.C. Resident Sues Powerball Lottery For More Than $340 Million After Alleged Winning Ticket Is Denied Due To Website Mistake

The lottery commission in Washington D.C. may be on the hook for a hefty settlement check.

A man who purchased a ticket with winning numbers is suing the company after they rejected his claim due to an error on their website.

According to reports, John Cheeks obtained the ticket in question back on January 6th, 2023. Two days later, he reportedly visited the D.C. Lottery’s official website where he found his numbers, comprised mostly of his family’s birthdates, were a match to the numbers posted as the current winner. Despite the reward being a breathtaking $340 million, Cheeks says he reacted very calmly and simply called up a good friend of his.

He stated during a recent interview:

“I got a little excited but I didn’t shout or scream. I just politely called a friend. I took a picture as he recommended and uh, that was it.”

Cheeks subsequently went to cash in his ticket, only for it to be denied. Reportedly, the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming eventually told him that the numbers posted online were incorrect. A live drawing of the winning numbers from January 7th would affirm their statement, as they were, in fact, different from Cheeks‘ ticket numbers. The D.C. resident is now suing for the $340 million loss, as well as for damages and interest.

Reportedly, Taoti Enterprises, a lottery contractor and a defendant in the suit, says the mixup was the result of a quality assurance test. Responding to Cheeks‘ complaint, they allege the wrong numbers were “accidentally” posted, though it’s noted that the incorrect digits remained on the site for 3 days. They reportedly argue that Cheeks’ numbers couldn’t have won because the incorrect ones were posted the day before his ticket was purchased. Additionally, they’re reportedly attempting to use a disclaimer posted on the site that says it’s not the “the final authority” of lottery winnings as a defense.

However, Cheeks’ attorney argues that a standard has to be held and that his client’s suit 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 DC Lottery admit occurred in this case…[and] the reliability of institutions that promise life-changing opportunities, while heavily profiting in the process.”

Reportedly, the lawyer also claims the case has precedence. Apparently, a similar situation previously happened in Iowa where a “human error” caused incorrect winning numbers to be posted to their lottery site. As a result, many ticket holders were reportedly able to collect prizes ranging from $4 to $200. Cheeks also chimed in with his own reason for filing suit, adding that he simply wants what’s owed to him. He reportedly stated:

“You know, we have to create fairness in the game. A win is a win…I’m just a customer who purchased those tickets. That’s all.”

A preliminary hearing for the case has been set for this Friday (February 23rd).


Do you think John Cheeks will be successful with his lawsuit? Leave your predictions in the comments below!

Authored by: Kay Johnson