On Wednesday, a California man claiming he had submitted a missing, winning ticket to state lottery officials for a $63 million jackpot filed suit, asserting that officials had destroyed the evidence.
Brandy Milliner’s suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims he not only submitted the winning ticket but that he also received a congratulatory letter from the California State Lottery Commission that told him he would be paid within six to eight weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Milliner added that the lottery has not paid him. Lhe lawsuit states: “Subsequent to the draw, the plaintiff has properly and repeatedly demanded payment of the prize. To date, however, the (commission has) refused to pay the prize,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Instead, the suit claims, lottery officials sent Milliner another letter in January claiming that their review of his ticket deemed it “too damaged to be reconstructed.” Milliner said the lottery officials have refused to return his ticket but he wants the court to name him the lottery winner.
The deadline for the winner to claim the massive prize comes at 5 p.m. on Thursday; if no one claims the prize, the funds are deposited in the state’s education fund. The California Lottery publicly warned in November that the lottery winner had 180 days to claim the $63-million jackpot.
Wednesday afternoon, lottery spokesman Russ Lopez voiced his suspicions regarding Milliner’s lawsuit, remarking, “The last-minute timing of this is suspicious. I am not saying it’s not real.” Lopez said congratulatory letters are normally sent to all winners claiming a prize, but the letter does not indicate the recipient had won.
The winning ticket was sold Aug. 8 at a 7-Eleven store at 20871 Lassen St. in Chatsworth with winning numbers of 46-1-33-30-16 and a Mega number of 24.
The legitimate winner of the lottery would receive a lump-sum, one-time payment of $39.9 million, or $63 million in payments for the next 30 years. Even if the winner is not announced, the owner of the 7-Eleven store will receive $315,000.