Home Canadian News Powerball player denied $340M jackpot sues over website blunder

Powerball player denied $340M jackpot sues over website blunder

Powerball player denied $340M jackpot sues over website blunder

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A lottery player who thought he had won a life-altering $340-million jackpot is suing Powerball for their “mistake.”

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John Cheeks, 60, of Washington D.C., purchased a Powerball ticket on Jan. 6, 2020, using a combination of family birthdates and other “totally common significant related numbers to me and my life,” he told USA Today.

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Cheeks missed the live drawing on Jan. 7 because he claimed to have been “exhausted as hell” from a meeting that day so he didn’t check his ticket until Jan. 8, when he pulled up the website on his laptop and saw his numbers.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes so I turned my laptop off, unplugged it, took it down and started it up again,” Cheeks said.

“There were the numbers again, matching my ticket.”

Cheeks called a friend who suggested he take a photo of the winning ticket.

For the next three days, the D.C. Lottery website showed the winning numbers but by Jan. 10, the numbers on the website had changed, according to the lawsuit.

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On Jan. 10, Cheeks when to a licenced retailer to redeem the ticket and learned that none of his numbers matched up to what he had previously seen on the website.


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He then went to the DC Office of Lottery and Gaming prize centre where he was told by an official that he was not a winner and should just “trash” the ticket.

According to Cheeks’ lawyer Richard Evans, his client eventually learned that Taoti Enterprises, a D.C.-based digital advertising agency that manages the D.C. Lottery’s website — made a “mistake” and posted random numbers that were supposed to go on a “test website.”

Brittany Bailey, a project manager at Taoti, said in court documents that Cheeks’ “attempted scheme” is to capitalize on an “obvious error” on the D.C. Lottery website.

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However, Bailey admitted that the test numbers posted on Jan. 6 remained on the D.C. Lottery website even after the correct numbers were posted, and were taken down on Jan. 9 only after Taoti employees noticed the error.

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“They have said that one of their contractors made a mistake,” Evans told WRC-TV. “I haven’t seen the evidence to support that yet.”

While Cheeks ended up not having the correct winning numbers, Evans feels something should be done for him.

“Even if a mistake was made, the question becomes: What do you do about that?”

The jackpot eventually grew to $754.6 million before a ticketholder in Washington state claimed the prize on Feb. 6.

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