$560m US Powerball victor allowed to remain anonymous

Erika Holt
March 13, 2018

The woman's lawyer William Shaheen said his client "was jumping up and down", following the ruling.

A winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Orleans for Saturday's drawing, according to the Louisiana Lottery Corp.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission says it respects a judge's decision to let a woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million keep her identity private.

She learned from attorneys subsequently, however, that New Hampshire would in turn treat her right to privacy as forfeited under the state's Right to Know law.

A New Hampshire judge has ruled in favor of "Jane Doe", the victor of the $560 million Powerball jackpot, in her request to remain anonymous.

Doe put her name and address on the winning ticket for the Jan 6. draw, but before she sent it to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, she turned to attorneys to see if she could remain anonymous.

In a 15-page decision, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles S. Temple ruled that the identity of the woman, dubbed Jane Doe in court papers, will remain off-limits to the prying eyes of reporters who file public records requests, but her city or town of residence will be disclosed. The woman's lawyers have argued that she is part of a group that "has historically been victimized by the unscrupulous", and that she made a mistake by signing her name on the ticket, when if she had set up an anonymous trust, she would have been able to avoid identifying herself in that way.

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He added that she had proved her privacy outweighed the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

"Although the Commission seemingly contends that these are isolated examples, there is evidence suggesting that Ms. Doe would also be subject to similar unwanted communication", Temple wrote.

A lawsuit filed by the woman's lawyers says she is an "engaged community member" who wants to go about public life "without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".

"While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court's decision", Charlie McIntyre, commission executive director, said in a statement. They said she would give $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state.

Once taxes were deducted last week, Doe's trust collected more than $264 million.

Abraham Shakespeare, the victor of a $30 million lottery prize in 2006, was approached two years later by a woman who said she was writing a book about how people were taking advantage of him, became his financial adviser and slowly siphoned away his money.

The commission says it will consult with the attorney general's office to determine what to do next regarding the case.

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