Two New York men are suing the New Jersey Lottery after they threw out a ticket that turned out to be $1 million winner. Salvatore Cambria and Erik Onyango of Suffern, New York, are reportedly suing the New Jersey lottery for not updating their website.
According to NBC News, the two men have filed a federal lawsuit against the New Jersey lottery and are claiming that the lottery was at fault for “failing to quickly post the accurate winning numbers from the March 23 drawing online.”
Now, if this had been your average lottery winning, a few dollars wouldn’t be much to get upset over. But according to The Record, the March 23, drawing was a $338 million jackpot that had been won by Passaic resident, Pedro Quezada. Quezada’s winning ticked had every correct number, including the Powerball number. Cambria is now claiming that he also had a winning ticket, one that had all the correct numbers except for the Powerball. If this is true, the prize would have won him a consolation prize of $1 million according to The Record.
ABC News continued on to report that Cambria asked Onyango to check the New Jersey Lottery website soon after the 11 pm drawing. When the numbers didn’t match their ticket, Cambria said he threw the ticket in the trash. Cambria and Onyango have told reporters that they realized the next day that they had the winning numbers, but by that time the ticket was long gone and “on its way to a landfill in Canada.”
A story like this could easily be blown off as a hoax, but Onyango told reporters that he has proof that they were the ones who purchased the unclaimed $1 million dollar winning ticket. According to The Record, “a Mahwah 7-11 sold a $1 million winner that was unclaimed” and Onyango has said that he has two tickets that prove that they also purchased the unclaimed winner.
Onyango told reporters that he kept two of the three tickets that they purchased. Onyango claims that “because the three tickets were purchased together, their serial numbers were sequential.” The ticket that was thrown away came in between the two tickets that Onyango still had and with this as their proof, the two men reported the situation to the Lottery Commission.
“They even told me, ‘You don’t need a lawyer, don’t get one. We know you’re in the right,’ ” Cambria said.
It has been a year since they filed the initial claim, but no actions have been taken. According to The Record, “the men filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Trenton on Tuesday demanding the million-dollar prize and arguing that the lottery was at fault for failing to update its website in a timely way.
New Jersey lottery officials have declined to comment on the case of the thrown out ticket. Were the two men to blame for throwing out the ticket? Or should the New Jersey lottery award the men the prize money with the proof that they’ve submit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
[Image via Shutterstock/Stephen VanHorn]