Tort Law

2 men who say they discarded $1M winning Powerball ticket sue lottery commission

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Two New York men say they purchased a Powerball ticket in New Jersey that matched five of six numbers in the March 23, 2013 lottery drawing.

But they didn’t realize their good fortune—the ticket was worth $1 million—until the next day, after discarding it, the New York Daily News reports.

In a negligence lawsuit filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, plaintiffs Salvatore Cambria and Erik Onyango blame the New Jersey Lottery Commission for the error, because the winning number wasn’t updated on its official website immediately after the drawing.

They also say they can prove they bought the winning ticket, because it was issued in the middle of a strip of three with sequential serial numbers.

After Onyango read the wrong “winning” number to Cambria over the phone after the drawing, Cambria discarded the $1 million ticket. It didn’t help that Onyango was looking at an iPhone, Cambria told the Journal News, because the numbers are so small that it was difficult to see the date of the drawing.

But Onyango kept the two other losing tickets, which were issued immediately before and immediately after the winning ticket, the newspaper reports.

“They have the bread of the sandwich,” their lawyer, Edward Logan, told the Journal News. “They just don’t have the meat. But they can more or less prove they bought that ticket.”

Lottery officials declined to comment.

The Star-Ledger also has a story.

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