A Los Angeles man who found himself entangled in a legal brouhaha surrounding the ownership of a historic $2.4 billion Powerball prize has shed light on the growing controversy. Urachi “Reggie” Romero, shared his side of the story in an exclusive interview with The Post.
Revealing that Jose Rivera is his tenant, Romero claimed that Rivera had shown him the winning ticket prior to the drawing, even going as far as explaining the reasoning behind his choice of numbers. However, Rivera has since filed a lawsuit against Edwin Castro, the official Powerball winner, and Romero, accusing them of stealing the valuable ticket from him.
According to Romero, Rivera displayed the Powerball ticket on the evening of November 7, the very night he alleges to have purchased it from Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California. The winning numbers that emerged were 10, 33, 41, 47, 56, and the red Powerball 10.
Recalling the encounter, Romero remembered questioning Rivera’s selection of the number 10 twice. “I saw Jose Rivera with that ticket… he showed it to me,” Romero stated. “I asked him why he picked two 10s. He said it was the date his parents both died. He picked 47 because that’s how old he is.
Romero further claimed that Rivera explained to him that he picked 56 because his dad always wanted a 1956 Chevy truck.
“He had a reason why he chose every number, and he told me this before the drawing,” he stated.
Romero found himself facing threats after Rivera implicated him as the person who had “stolen” the valuable ticket, which eventually ended up in Castro’s hands. However, he vehemently denied any involvement in the alleged theft and asserted that he had no connection to Castro, the purchaser of the winning ticket.
In an attempt to uncover the truth, Rivera frantically scoured his room and even requested permission to search other rooms within Romero’s home. Romero, maintaining his innocence, allowed Rivera to examine his belongings and even recorded a video of the search.
The recorded footage, reviewed by The Post, depicted Rivera meticulously rummaging through dresser drawers and flipping through the pages of a Bible and other books in Romero’s room.
Romero provided an alternate view of the situation, suggesting that the ticket might have been misplaced by a friend who had visited the night before the drawing and had unintentionally taken Rivera’s work pants the following morning.
This friend happened to have a connection to the Castro family, as per Romero’s statement.
“But (Rivera) is also a gardener who works at many places,” Romero explained. “It could’ve just fallen out of his pocket, but I don’t know how it got to Castro.”
While Rivera insists that Romero “took the ticket” from a table in his home, his legal team has no evidence as to how he knows Castro.
The winner of California's record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot last year is being sued by a man who claims the ticket was stolen from him before the winning numbers were revealed. https://t.co/BjzhQYQxbR
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 28, 2023