A video of a woman claiming to be the winner of the $1.08 billion Powerball ticket was untrue.
If the woman claimed herself as a winner, she would have to endure a lengthy verification process.
The process can take months and includes the assistance of law enforcement officials.
A day after the California Lottery confirmed that a store in Los Angeles, California, had sold a $1.08 billion Powerball ticket, an unidentified woman told reporters at the store the jackpot was hers.
The store owner’s granddaughter later told Inside Edition that the woman was not actually the winner of the jackpot, and the actual winner had not yet come forward.
The woman is far from the only person in history who has fibbed about winning a large lottery prize, but in California, a vetting process ensures that not just anyone can claim a prize.
States can already track down where the winning tickets are sold and use this information to verify ticket holders. Winners of the Powerball or Mega Millions, who have a year to claim their prize, can submit a claim form.
From there, the state begins its lengthy confirmation process.
This confirmation process includes staff at lottery agencies and law enforcement, Carolyn Becker, a spokesperson for California Lottery, told Nexstar Media Group. These officials will ask winners to corroborate where the ticket was sold and how many tickets they purchased. Becker told the publication that they also verify identities, look at security camera footage, and analyze the ticket brought in to see if it is a forgery.
If someone files a false claim and is caught during the verification process, they can face felony charges.
Sometimes the verification process can take months. It took officials three months to verify Edwin Castro, who won the record-breaking $2.04 billion jackpot in February, as the actual prize winner.
Castro is currently being sued by a man claiming he stole the jackpot.
“California Lottery remains confident that Edwin Castro is the rightful winner of the $2.04 billion prize stemming from the Powerball drawing in November of 2022,” Becker previously told Insider.
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