Obviously the actual contents of the List are instances of MyObject, not Long. That means that the cast to Long won't work. Just because you cast the Object to List<Long> doesn't turn every element into a Long. That's also why you got a compiler warning about this cast; the JVM cannot check at this time if the Object is really a List<Long>; all it can check is if it's a List. The warning's there because you may get unexpected ClassCastExceptions later on -- like you're getting now.