D.C. Man Denied $340 Million Powerball Jackpot Due to Mistaken Website Numbers, Files Lawsuit Against District and Lottery Officials

Washington D.C. – A man from Washington D.C. believed he had struck it rich with a $340 million Powerball prize, only to be told that there had been a mistake. Joseph Cheeks has now taken legal action against the District, Powerball, and various government offices and affiliated companies because they have refused to pay him his winnings. According to Cheeks, his numbers appeared on the D.C. Lottery’s website after the January 7 drawing last year.

Although Cheeks didn’t watch the drawing on January 7, he checked the D.C. Lottery website on the morning of January 8 and saw his numbers listed as the “Winning Numbers.” This led him to believe that he had won the $340 million Powerball prize. Not wanting to get too excited, Cheeks calmly called a friend and took a picture of the website display before going to sleep that night.

However, when Cheeks attempted to claim his winnings at a licensed retailer, he was denied. He then brought the ticket to the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming prize center, only to be denied again. It turned out that the numbers displayed on the D.C. Lottery website were not the same as the official numbers from the January 7 Powerball drawing.

Cheeks eventually discovered that the mistake had been made by one of the lottery’s contractors, a D.C.-based company called Taoti Enterprises. Despite the error, Cheeks’ numbers remained on the D.C. Lottery website for three days. His attorney, Richard Evans, argued that even if a mistake had occurred, the lottery should still honor the winnings, citing a similar case in Iowa where the contractor admitted a mistake and paid out the winnings.

In his lawsuit, Cheeks is suing for breach of contract and negligence, claiming that he is entitled to the full Powerball prize or compensation for the defendants’ gross negligence. The case raises questions about the responsibility of lottery operators and their contractors in ensuring accurate and reliable information for players.

WTOP has contacted Taoti Enterprises for a comment, but as of now, no response has been received. This incident serves as a cautionary tale for lottery players and underscores the importance of double-checking official results before getting too excited about a potential windfall.