Winner Of US$560 Million Lotto Jackpot Might Lose Her Winnings. Why? She Wants To Stay Anonymous
One simple mistake could cost her US$560 million or her privacy.
A woman in New Hampshire, USA won US$560 million last month in Powerball's jackpot drawing, making it the fifth-largest grand prize ever in the 15-year history of the game. However, because this lottery winner wants to stay anonymous, she can't claim her prize.
Q: If a lottery winner wants to stay anonymous, how can they claim their winnings?
A: By signing a trust's name on the back of the winning ticket.
In New Hampshire, a lottery winner's name, hometown, and the amount of the winnings are public information. And the rules of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission say that the winner should sign the back of the winning ticket before claiming the prize, and that's exactly what this woman did.
But that was a "huge mistake", as she admitted to the courts later on.
You see, she could have protected her identity by writing the name of a trust instead. And it was only after she consulted a lawyer that she realized that.
"She is a longtime resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member," her attorney wrote in court documents, UnionLeader.com reports. "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 winner of a half-billion dollars."
Her attorney had asked the courts if she could replace her name in front of lottery officials and replace it with the trust, but they were told that altering the ticket in any way would invalidate the ticket.
Lottery winner wants to stay anonymous, takes it to the courts
The woman has sued to remain anonymous, and her lawyers are seeking to allow her to start collecting her winnings even before her lawsuit is resolved, reports CNN.
"She intends to contribute a portion of her winnings to a charitable foundation so that they may do good in the world. She wishes to be a silent witness to these good works, far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery winners," her lawyer wrote in court records.
It's understandable why she would want to remain anonymous. And the lawsuit lays it out. Previous lottery winners have been "victims of violence, threats, harassment, scams, and solicitation."
Store owner Sam Safa won US$75,000 before taxes because he sold the winning ticket. Though his business has enjoyed a boost, he told CNN that he'd been getting "nonsense calls" from people asking for money, so he totally gets why Jane Doe would want to keep her identity a secret.
What do you think of how this lottery winner wants to stay anonymous? Let us know in the comments!
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