Lottery Winner Can Remain Unidentified, Judge Rules

Lottery Winner Can Remain Unidentified, Judge Rules

A New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million can keep her name private, a judge ruled Monday.

The victor sued the New Hampshire Lottery last month under the name of Jane Doe, in a bid to collect the winnings through a trust to protect her anonymity.

The state had argued names of lottery winners must be disclosed publicly to ensure they are distributed properly and that winners hold no relation to lottery employees.

But after speaking with a lawyer, Doe realized she could have maintained her privacy if a trustee had signed the ticket instead.

Temple said that the court has no doubt that if her identity was revealed, she would be subject to harassment, solicitation and other unwanted communication.

Judge Charles Temple is presiding over the bid by New Hampshire lotto victor "Jane Doe" to preserve her anonymity in Hillsborough Superior Court.

"Although the Commission dismissed this harassment as trivial and/or speculative, for the court to do so would require it to ignore the significant media attention this case has received, the numerous documents of bad experiences of other lottery winners, as well as the bevy of unsolicited emails, phone calls and in-person visits already directed at Ms. Doe through her attorneys", states Temple's ruling.

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The commission already allows winners to sign their tickets with the name of a trust instead of the individual's name, the judge noted, in essence allowing winners to be anonymous.

The judge ruled the New Hampshire Lottery Commission can not release the woman's name or address.

"While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court's decision", said a statement from the New Hampshire Lottery. The winning ticket was sold at the Reeds Ferry Market in that town for the January 6 drawing.

"She was jumping up and down", Shaheen said.

The victor will collect a lump sum of about $358 million, before subtracting for taxes, according to the New Hampshire Lottery.

Jane Doe was the 11th Powerball jackpot victor in New Hampshire history, and her massive payout is the biggest in state history. The first thing he did was give a total of about $249,000 to a couple of nonprofits - Girls Inc. and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger - and said the woman plans to give away as much as $50 million in the future.

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