SANTA ANA, Calif. – A medical lab technician has sued seven co-workers who shared a $315 million Mega Millions multistate lottery jackpot, claiming he deserves a share of the money.
Jonathan De La Cruz says he had always been part of the group when they bought lottery tickets but was off work the day they bought the winning ticket. His Orange County Superior Court lawsuit contends the group had an oral agreement that everyone would be included whenever they pooled their money to buy tickets.
The winners — six lab technicians and a receptionist at the Kaiser Permanente medical office in Garden Grove — rejected the claims in De La Cruz's suit, which he filed last month. They said it was the first time they had bought tickets together and that it had been almost a year since any of them had pooled money with De La Cruz for tickets.
Additionally, they said, the 34-year-old De La Cruz did not claim that he thought he deserved a cut after the win.
"I treated him like a son, always lecturing him," said Joyce Onori, 60, one of the winners. "I would not have expected this from him."
The Nov. 15 jackpot was the second largest in state history and one of the largest in the United States.
The winners opted for a lump-sum payment, meaning each will receive about $25 million before taxes.