This man scored a whopping $340 million, but Powerball is refusing to fork over the cash

John Cheeks thought he hit the jackpot when the numbers on his lottery ticket matched those posted on a Powerball website. However, Powerball administrators shattered his dreams, revealing that the numbers he saw were mistakenly published as part of a test, not the actual winning numbers for the January 2023 drawing.

Undeterred, Cheeks is taking legal action against several entities responsible for the Powerball in Washington, D.C., where he resides. He’s suing them for breach of contract, gross negligence, and emotional distress, among other claims, demanding the $340 million grand prize along with damages and interest.

His lawyer, Richard Evans, emphasized that this case is about holding institutions accountable for promising life-changing opportunities while profiting from hopeful participants. Despite the odds of winning being incredibly slim, millions of Americans eagerly participate in the lottery, with regular players often having low incomes.

Taoti Enterprises, a contractor involved in marketing the lottery, dismissed Cheeks’ claims, stating that the test numbers were never intended to be the actual winning numbers and accused Cheeks of trying to exploit an obvious error.

While the website included a disclaimer that it wasn’t the final authority for the drawing, Cheeks only discovered the discrepancy after the drawing. Despite his efforts to redeem the prize, he was informed of the error.

Cheeks’ lawyer argued that even if a mistake occurred, officials were negligent in not publicly acknowledging it. He cited a similar incident in Iowa where incorrect Powerball numbers were reported, and prizes were paid out before the error was rectified.

Mary Malloy Dimaio, representing Taoti Enterprises, declined to comment further, pointing to a motion to dismiss the case. Other entities involved, including the Multi-State Lottery Association, the Washington Office of Lottery and Gaming, and the Washington attorney general’s office, did not respond to requests for comment.