Black DC Man Suing After Lottery Denied His $340M Winning Numbers Due To Website Mistake

John Cheeks/ NBC 4

John Cheeks is suing Powerball and the DC Lottery after they allegedly refused to grant him his $350 million winnings due to a website mistake.

Cheeks told NBC Washington that he purchased the winning ticket with numbers based on family birthdays on January 6, 2023, when the jackpot stood at $340 million. Although he did not check the live broadcast, he later found the numbers on the DC Lottery’s website and thought he had seemingly won the grand prize.

The issue arose when the set of seven numbers on his ticket did not match what was broadcast. Unfortunately, Cheeks only discovered this discrepancy when attempting to claim his prize, as none of the winning numbers were on his ticket. Despite days of the website showcasing the numbers found on Cheeks’ ticket, the D.C. Office of Lottery and Gaming Prize Center deemed his ticket worthless and advised him to throw it away.

“‘Hey, this ticket is no good. Just throw it in the trash can,’” remembered Cheeks of the employee’s words. “And I gave him a stern look. I said, ‘In the trash can?’ ‘Oh yeah, just throw it away. You’re not gonna get paid. There’s a trash can right there.’”

The Powerball jackpot rose to $754.6 million before a new winner was announced on February 6 last year. Cheeks’ lawyer insists that something must be done to help his client.

“Even if a mistake was made, the question becomes: What do you do about that?”

As the lawsuit is underway, Cheeks tells NBC 4 that he keeps the contested ticket in a safe place just in case.

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