1 Million Lotto Ticket Lawsuit: 2 Men Sue NJ for Winnings After Trashing Ticket

A $1 million lotto ticket lawsuit was filed Tuesday by two men who accidentally threw the lucky numbers in the trash in March. Salvatore Cambria, 42, and Erik Onyango, 30, of Suffern N.Y. purchased the Multi-State Powerball ticket in Mahwah, N.J., but blame the state for not updating their website quickly enough with the winning numbers— Cambria threw a ticket he thought was a loser in the trash.

The $1 million lotto ticket turned out to be a winner, though, despite the last Powerball number not matching up. When Onyango and Cambria realized their mistake, they filed a formal request for their winnings, but got no response. Now they are suing the New Jersey Lottery Commission and Governor Chris Christie for keeping the prize, which counts as "unjust enrichment," the suit claims.

"It's not as if the lottery commission or the state of New Jersey or whoever would be losing money," their attorney Edward Logan told The Washington Post. "There was a winning ticket that was sold and these people have proven that they're the ones who bought it."

The two friends' proof is the two other losing lottery tickets Onyango bought at the time— the serial numbers are before and after the winning ticket. Onyango said that the lottery not updating their website 10 minutes after broadcasting the results is what caused the oversight.

"I gave [Cambria] the numbers that were on my iPhone, only to realize later those were the numbers for the last drawing," Onyango told Bloomberg. The date displayed on the screen "is really small," which the N.J. should have known because "we do everything on our phones and computers now," he said.

Onyango plans to use the money to open an accounting business, and Cambria would use the funds to supplement his cleaning products company.

"I'd like to think that New Jersey wants to do the right thing, but you never know," Logan said.