A million-dollar lottery ticket sold in Mahwah is buried somewhere in a Canadian landfill, say two men who claim they bought it, threw it away and are now suing the Lottery Commission to try to get the money.
Salvatore Cambria and Erick Onyango, of Suffern, N.Y., say they threw the Powerball ticket away because they thought it was a loser after checking the winning numbers on the lottery’s website — which, they claim, hadn’t been updated.
This wasn’t just any Powerball drawing: It was the $338 million jackpot from March 23, 2013, won by Passaic resident Pedro Quezada. Quezada won the grand prize by getting every number right, including the Powerball.
Cambria said his ticket had every correct number except the Powerball, a combination that would have won him the consolation prize of $1 million.
The men say the lottery doesn't have to take their word on this. News reports at the time of the drawing document that a Mahwah 7-11 sold a $1 million winner that was unclaimed. And Cambria and Onyango believe there is an easy way to prove they had the winner.
The ticket was one of three that Onyango says he purchased that day at the 7-Eleven. He kept the first and third tickets for himself and gave the middle one — the one he says is the winner — to Cambria.
Unlike Cambria, who threw out his ticket as soon as he thought it was a loser, Onyango held on to his two.
And because the three tickets were purchased together, their serial numbers were sequential. The men say they can prove that the winning ticket was theirs because they still have the tickets with serial numbers one above and one below the winning ticket’s.
They explained their situation to the Lottery Commission last year, they said, and were told to submit a claim form along with the first and third tickets.
“They even told me, ‘You don’t need a lawyer, don’t get one. We know you’re in the right,’ ” Cambria said.
But then nothing happened
ARTICLE FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS