ALHAMBRA (CNS) - The declared winner of the record-breaking November $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot says in new court papers that a process server for a man who sued him, insisting the prize is his, wrongly presented a summons and copy of the suit to the defendant's father, whose name is identical except for the middle initial.
State officials have denied plaintiff Jose Rivera's claim in his Alhambra Superior Court lawsuit against the California State Lottery Commission that he is the lottery winner, insisting that Edwin G. Castro, also a defendant in the suit, is the proper winner as announced on Feb. 14.
In court papers filed Thursday, Edwin G. Castro's attorney says the person served with Rivera's complaint was actually Castro's father, Edwin H. Castro, and that the father is not authorized to receive such papers on his son's behalf.
Edwin H. Castro says in a sworn declaration that a process server came to his Altadena home on April 25 to present the summons and the lawsuit.
"I told the process server that he was serving the wrong Edwin Castro, but he displayed little concern," the elder Castro says.
Edwin G. Gastro says in a separate sworn statement that he won the Nov. 7 jackpot, that he lives in Los Angeles and that he "never personally received a copy of the summons and complaint from a process server."
In his suit brought Feb. 22, Rivera maintains he bought the victorious ticket at Joe's Service Center in Altadena the day before the Nov. 8 drawing, but that it was stolen by someone identified only as "Reggie," a co- defendant in the suit, on the same day.
In subsequent court papers, Rivera's lawyers identified "Reggie" as Urachi F. Romero, who could not be reached for comment.
Rivera asked Romero numerous times to return the ticket, but he refused, telling that plaintiff among other things that the two could split the winnings if he found the ticket, according to the suit, which further states that Rivera refused to be blackmailed and reported the alleged theft to the commission and to law enforcement.
But in his court papers, Edwin G. Castro's attorney says there are no details in the lawsuit as to how his client allegedly obtained the winning Powerball ticket from anyone named Reggie.
A hearing on Edwin G. Castro's motion to quash the service of the summons and complaint is scheduled July 19 before Judge William A. Crowfoot.