LOS ANGELES (CN) - Just hours away from a deadline to claim a $63 million lottery prize, a Californian on Wednesday sued the state Lottery Commission, claiming its officials congratulated him on winning the jackpot - only to reject his ticket.
Brandy Milliner sued California and the California State Lottery Commission in Superior Court, alleging breach of contract and conversion.
The deadline to claim the $63 million prize is Thursday at 5 p.m. Lottery officials say no one has come forward to claim the prize.
But Milliner says he bought the winning ticket for the SuperLotto Plus lottery on Aug. 8, 2015, with numbers 1, 16, 30, 33 and 46, and the mega ball number 24.
He says he presented the winning ticket to the Lottery Commission within the claims period, was congratulated and that he could expect a check in six to eight weeks.
But in January, the state sent him a letter stating that the ticket was too damaged to be reconstructed and that officials could not process his claim.
"Subsequent to the draw, the plaintiff has properly and repeatedly demanded payment of the prize. To date, however, the defendants have refused to pay the prize," the 7-page lawsuit states.
Milliner says he has a photocopy of the ticket but that the lottery is refusing to return his original.
"The claim period will expire on Feb. 4, 2016, without payment to any person of the award as the plaintiff possessed the sole winning ticket, which the defendants have declined to honor," the filing states.
He seeks declaratory judgment that he won - and the money.
If he prevails, he can choose to take a total $63 million in 30 annual payments, or a lump sum of $39.9 million.
He is represented by Robert Ounjian, with Carpenter, Zuckerman and Rowley, of Beverly Hills.