California Powerball winner Edwin Castro has fired back against a lawsuit seeking his bounty, slamming the filing for failing to make any connection between himself and the allegedly stolen winning ticket.
Castro’s attorney also says his client was not properly served legal papers in the case of Jose Rivera, the man suing for the winnings, according to a motion filed Thursday.
Rivera argued in a recent suit he’s the rightful owner of the $2.04 billion jackpot — the country’s largest to date — and bought the winning ticket Nov. 7 2022, a day before the drawing, from Joe’s Service Station in Altadena.
The lawsuit claims Urachi F. Romero, identified as “Reggie,” then allegedly stole the ticket and refused to return it despite Rivera’s requests. Reggie is also named a defendant in the suit.
Estela Richeda, a lawyer on Rivera’s case maintained to The Post her client was the one who bought the wining ticket at the Altadena store.
She said Jose told her that Reggie then “took the ticket from a table.”
“This is what Jose related to us — he purchased the tickets and Reggie took the tickets from him. Once the winning numbers were announced, Reggie proposed to Jose that he would return the ticket if he got 50% of the winnings.”
However, Castro’s Thursday motion states the lawsuit “fails to allege facts that create a nexus between Edwin G. Castro and co-defendant ‘Reggie.’
“There are no facts as to how Edwin Castro came into possession of the winning Powerball ticket from ‘Reggie.’”
Castro – who received a $997.6 million lumpsum payout – is also seeking to quash the notion he was served the lawsuit filed by Jorge Rivera.
Instead, his lawyers argued, Rivera’s team wrongly named Castro’s father in the suit and served the elder Castro the papers.
The “‘Edwin Castro’ who actually received the papers, was not the winner of the November 7, 2022, Powerball drawing,” the motion states, “and he does not reside at the address erroneously listed in the proof of service.”
The filing explains how papers were served to Edwin H. Castro, the father of lottery winner Edwin G. Castro.
“Edwin H. Castro was not authorized to accept service on behalf of Edwin G. Castro, the actual Powerball winner,” the motion states.
Rivera claims he reported the theft to police and the California Lottery, and repeatedly tried to notify the agency of his concerns.
He believes store surveillance images will prove his case and has requested the state lotto agency “make available for our review all video depicting the purchase of the winning ticket.”
The California Lottery has said it “remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner,” and pointed to rigorous checks they do to verify those who hit the jackpot.
Richeda also said she and her client are “in communication with” the lottery commission.
Meanwhile, Castro has purchased two multimillion-dollar California homes and a vintage $250,000 Porsche convertible. A hearing regarding the lawsuit is scheduled for July.
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