New Wrinkle In Edwin Castro $2 Billion Powerball Legal Battle

Erik Gibbs

california lottery powerball display

The legal battle surrounding the $2 billion Powerball win in California in 2022 continues to heat up. The case is far from over, with the California Lottery now taking a more prominent position.

Jose Rivera’s new lawyer, John Michael Flanagan, is ramping up efforts to acquire evidence from the California Lottery. Rivera, the man suing Edwin Castro for allegedly stealing the winning ticket, is facing criminal charges for filing a false police report in Pasadena.

Flanagan argues that the California Lottery possesses crucial evidence that could exonerate Rivera in his criminal case and bolster his civil suit against Castro. The exact nature of the requested evidence remains undisclosed, but Flanagan maintains it’s essential to his client’s defense.

Rivera maintains he rightfully purchased the winning ticket but had it stolen before the drawing. He initially filed a police report in Pasadena accusing Castro of theft, leading to the criminal charges against him. While details regarding the alleged evidence are scarce, legal experts speculate it could pertain to security footage from the store where the ticket was purchased, potential witness statements, or even details about the ticket’s purchase method.

The California Lottery has yet to publicly respond to Flanagan’s request. Lottery officials typically face strict protocols regarding the release of confidential information, particularly when legal proceedings are ongoing. However, Flanagan argues that withholding the evidence could obstruct Rivera’s right to a fair trial.

Meanwhile, Rivera’s civil lawsuit against Castro, filed in Alhambra, California, has been postponed until late July. This civil suit seeks to award Rivera the $2 billion prize money; however, with Castro on a shopping spree that includes a $500,000 Porsche, there will be much more to sort out and continued legal wrangling if Rivera wins.

Castro not backing down

Castro, through his legal team, has vehemently denied the allegations. His lawyers claim Castro legitimately purchased the ticket and have even presented security footage, reportedly viewed by Castro’s lawyer, that allegedly shows him buying the winning ticket himself.

According to Castro’s previous lawyer, David De Paoli, security camera footage shows Castro buying the winning ticket. De Paoli described the video as very clear-cut evidence. Meanwhile, Rivera claims his former landlord, Urachi “Reggie” Romero, stole the ticket before it somehow ended up with Castro.

Romero denies the theft but strangely suggests Rivera must have seen the winning numbers after the purchase, implying Rivera knew he had the lucky ticket. Castro’s team maintains their client has no connection to either man and expects the lawsuit to be thrown out soon.

After winning the record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot, the 32-year-old Castro took a lump-sum payout of $628.5 million after taxes. He reportedly wasted no time indulging in luxury cars and real estate.

The legal wrangling between Rivera and Castro has captivated the public. The sheer size of the jackpot, coupled with the dramatic accusations of theft, has transformed the case into an international spectacle.

Flanagan’s push for additional evidence from the California Lottery injects a new layer of intrigue. If the lottery complies with his request, it could significantly impact the trajectory of both the criminal and civil proceedings. On the other hand, if the lottery refuses, Flanagan could potentially challenge that decision in court, further delaying the resolution of this already protracted legal saga.