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Man Sues Powerball Organizers for $340M After His Lottery Numbers Were ‘Mistakenly Posted’ on Website

“The test numbers were never the actual winning numbers,” one of several groups being sued said in court documents

<p>Getty Images</p> Powerball ticket

Getty Images

Powerball ticket

A man is suing Powerball organizers for $340 million after they "mistakenly posted" numbers that led him to believe he had won the lottery.

John Cheeks, 60, thought he had won the Powerball lottery after seeing his numbers posted on the D.C. Lottery’s website on Jan. 7, 2023, reported CBS News, The New York Times and NBC affiliate WRC-TV.

However, when he went to redeem what he thought was his winning ticket, Cheeks claims he was told that it was a “mistake," according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court of Washington, D.C., against multiple entities including Powerball, the Multi-State Lottery Association and Taoti Enterprises — a digital advertising agency that operates the D.C. Lottery website.

"Because the winning numbers on the D.C. Lottery website matched the numbers on the Plaintiff's Powerball lottery ticket, the Plaintiff is entitled to the entire jackpot that was then available," Cheeks' lawyers stated in the complaint, per CBS News.

Cheeks is suing for breach of contract, gross negligence and infliction of emotional distress, and is requesting $340 million in compensation plus damages and interest on the winnings, per the Times.

Related: Iowa Lottery Mistakenly Posts Wrong Numbers — But 'Winners' Who Already Cashed in Can Keep Money!

According to a motion to dismiss the case, Taoti Enterprises said the numbers were "accidentally" posted as part of a quality assurance test, per the Times and NPR.

“The test numbers were never the actual winning numbers,” the group said, according to court documents, going on to claim that Cheeks was trying to capitalize on “an obvious error.”

The group went on to note that those numbers were posted online "the day before the drawing" and that they did not match the numbers shown during the televised drawing on Jan. 7. Furthermore, they pointed out that there's a disclaimer on the lottery website that says it is not "the final authority" for drawings.

When reached for comment, Taoti Enterprises said they couldn't comment due to pending legal matters, but referred PEOPLE to their motion to dismiss. Neither Evans nor the D.C. Lottery could be reached for additional comment.

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In an interview with WRC-TV, Evans said that the litigation is not without precedent.

“There is a precedent for this, a similar case that happened in Iowa, where a mistake was admitted to by a contractor and they paid the winnings out,” the attorney said.

Related: Man Finds Forgotten Lottery Ticket from Last Year in His Glove Compartment — and Learns He Won a Truck!

Last November, lottery officials in Iowa posted the wrong Powerball numbers and later blamed it on “redundant reporting procedures” which failed after the drawing, they said in a statement.

The “winners” who thought they hit the jackpot on the initial numbers were able to cash in their tickets over a period of nearly seven hours, from about 12:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

While the jackpot was considerably lower – $4 to $200 – lottery officials told the AP that anybody who cashed in their “winning” ticket during that time would be able to keep the money.

The preliminary hearing for Cheeks' lawsuit is scheduled for Friday.

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