According to the lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Trenton on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, Cambria and Onyango bought three tickets for the March 23, 2013, Powerball drawing. One of the tickets matched all five numbers drawn, but failed to match the Powerball.
If the ticket had matched the Powerball it would have secured a share of the $338 million jackpot scooped by Dominican immigrant, Pedro Quezada, but even without the Powerball the ticket was still worth $1 million.
The disgruntled players went to the Lottery commission with their claim earlier this year but were turned away.
"They were told that without the ticket they were not going to pay," attorney Edward Logan said.
Cambria and Onyango have a history of buying each other lottery tickets from the Mahwah 7-11 store. On this occasion Onyango bought three tickets with consecutive numbers and gave the middle one to Cambria.
Onyango checked the numbers on the Lottery's website several minutes after the drawing and relayed them to his friend over the phone. Believing it to worthless, Cambria threw his ticket away.
Logan writes in the lawsuit: "The plaintiffs here may not have produced the winning ticket but have tendered two of the three tickets purchased in immediate succession and can prove that they in fact purchased and possessed the original ticket."
The lottery declined to comment on the pending litigation.