According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Jose Rivera claims he bought the winning ticket on Nov. 7, but it was stolen that same day by a man using the name "Reggie."
Rivera alleges "Reggie" told him the ticket was a bust and that even if he did win, he would only return it on the condition that he split the prize with him 50/50.
According to court documents, Rivera said he "refused to be blackmailed" and reported the alleged theft to law enforcement officials and to the California Lottery, demanding an investigation before the prize was distributed.
The Powerball jackpot was won by a man named Edwin Castro who reportedly elected to collect the prize as a lump sum of $997.6 million.
Rivera’s lawsuit lists both Castro and "Reggie" as two separate defendants but did not detail how they were involved in the alleged theft. Rivera is asking the court for damages and to declare him the true winner.
"California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion prize stemming from the Powerball drawing in November of 2022," the California Lottery said in a statement.