Man Takes Legal Action Against Powerball

Man Takes Legal Action Against Powerball

( – Americans spend billions of dollars on lottery tickets each year, making it America’s most popular form of gambling. However, few people profit from their purchases. A 60-year-old Washington DC man sued Powerball over an alleged mistake involving a $340 million lottery prize.

In November, John Cheeks filed a civil complaint in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Acting pro se (as his own attorney), Cheeks named four defendants: Powerball, the Multi-State Lottery Association’s legal department and general counsel, and Taoti Enterprises (a DC-based ad agency hosting the District’s Lottery website).

Cheeks’ handwritten complaint alleged he purchased a Powerball ticket on January 6, 2023. He said he visited the Powerball website two days later and saw his numbers listed as the winning combination. On January 10, he attempted to redeem his ticket from a licensed retailer and was told his numbers didn’t match the ones pulled during the lottery’s live drawing.

USA Today reported that Taoti’s attorneys advised the court on May 2 that it “accidentally” posted the incorrect numbers to the DC Lottery site. Lawyers for the ad firm later filed court documents accusing Cheeks of trying to capitalize on their “obvious error.” The document noted that “any ordinary person” would have known that lottery officials wouldn’t have posted the winning number online before the drawing.

The complaint includes four separate claims: misrepresentation of fact, failure to make payment of the winning Powerball ticket, theft, and false advertising. Cheeks subsequently hired a local attorney, Richard Evans, to represent him. Evans filed a second amended complaint, adding infliction of emotional distress, gross negligence, civil conspiracy, fraud, unfair trade practices, and breach of contract to his claims.

Cheeks is asking the DC Superior Court to order Powerball and the Multi-State Lottery Association to pay $320.6 million each for “deceit and misrepresentation” and Taoti Enterprises to remit the same amount for “theft.”

The civil complaint also asks the court to order the “Defendant’s [sic]” to pay punitive damages totaling $72,000 per day, starting on January 10, 2023, through the final settlement of the final payment “to compensate” him.

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