Judge Determines Powerball Jackpot Winner Can Stay Anonymous

Mar 12, 2018

A judge ruled Monday that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

Judge Charles Temple noted that the case's resolution rested the state's Right-to-Know law, which governs access to public records. She was identified as "Jane Doe" in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

Temple wrote he had "no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications." He said she met her burden of showing that her privacy interest outweighs the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

The woman signed her ticket after the drawing, but later learned from lawyers that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust. They said she was upset after learning she was giving up her anonymity by signing the ticket — something the lottery commission acknowledged isn't spelled out on the ticket, but is detailed on its website.

Last week, the commission handed over $264 million — the amount left after taxes were deducted — to the woman's lawyers.

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