$560M Powerball victor files lawsuit to remain anonymous

Peter Castro
February 7, 2018

A woman who bought a Powerball ticket worth $560 million last month is fighting to remain anonymous, saying in a lawsuit that releasing her name would "constitute a significant invasion of her privacy".

But the woman later learned from a lawyer that she could avoid the law by claiming the lottery money via a trust.

New Hampshire lottery rules state unclaimed Powerball prizes lapse following one year.

It's a legal battle she'd likely lose in North Carolina, where you'd be out of luck if you were hoping to keep your name private after winning.

New Hampshire lottery rules do allow for winners to form a trust anonymously, but the woman waived this right when she signed her ticket.

'She wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars, ' NewHampshire.com reported.

Under New Hampshire law, a lottery winner's name, town and prize amount are public information. The state is holding its ground.

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New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said in response to the complaint that he understands that winning Powerball is a life-changing event.

Currently, only six states allow lottery victor to remain anonymous - Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and SC.

They argued her privacy interest outweighed the insignificant public interest in disclosing her name. The New Hampshire Lottery to CNN Money Jane Doe purchased the lucky ticket on January 6 from Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack.

"That openness and transparency is important to a lottery so that the public believes that the game is being run fairly", Denton said.

Safa told CNNMoney that he understands why the jackpot victor would want to remain anonymous, since he himself has been inundated with "nonsense calls" of people asking for money and wanting to know the identity of the jackpot victor.

Lottery officials consulted with state lawyers and said they must process the winning ticket "like any other", he said. However, the complaint says, the commission has informed her that any adjustment of the ticket will make it invalid.

The victor has not turned in her ticket yet, but showed lottery officials a photocopy of the front to support her claim for the country's eight-largest lottery jackpot.

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