Two men threw away what they thought was a losing Powerball ticket, but are now suing the New Jersey lottery after finding out it was really worth $1 million.
Salvatore Cambria and Erick Onyango, of Suffern, New York, argue in their federal lawsuit that the lottery didn’t update its website quickly enough with the winning numbers for the $338 million jackpot on March 23, The Record reported.
Mr. Cambria told the newspaper that Mr. Onyango checked the website a few minutes after the 11 p.m. drawing and threw the ticket away when he thought it was a loser.
“So I took my ticket, which was worth a million dollars, and I put it in a cigarette pack and put it in the garbage in my bedroom,” Mr. Cambria said, The Record reported.
The men didn’t realize until the next day that their ticket had every correct number except the Powerball, which would have been worth $1 million.
“I was losing my mind. We were both losing our minds,” Mr. Cambria told the paper.
The men did what they could to track down the ticket, but learned their garbage was already on its way to a dump in Ontario, Canada.
The dump has “bulldozers that move the trash around and bury it and get it to cook and digest with the methane,” said their lawyer, Edward Logan. “It was just going to be impossible to find.”
The men say they can prove that the winning ticket was theirs because they still have two other tickets with serial numbers one above and one below the winning ticket’s, The Record reported.
The men filed their $1 million lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Trenton, as their alleged winning ticket was bought in Mahwah.
A spokeswoman for the Lottery Commission, Judith Drucker, declined to comment to the paper on the pending litigation.