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Jackpot problems: Lottery winner wants anonymity

February 11. 2018 11:56PM

Surely, the next time she wins a $560 million jackpot, Jane Doe will consult an attorney before claiming the prize.

The anonymous winner of last month’s Powerball prize would like to remain anonymous, which is not unreasonable given the attention and new friends that would accompany such a windfall.

The lucky woman quickly signed the back of the ticket she bought in Merrimack with her name.

Had she set up a trust to claim the prize, she could have kept her name from becoming public. But New Hampshire Lottery officials say it’s too late.

The woman has filed suit to keep the Lottery from releasing her name.

A handful of states allow winners to remain anonymous without going through legal hoops, but most states count on using a winner’s name and image to boost future ticket sales. New Hampshire does not allow anyone else to claim a prize once the winning ticket is signed and submitted.

The media coverage of the winner gets other people dreaming of hitting the jackpot.

The case goes before Hillsborough County Superior Court tomorrow. We won’t comment on whether state statutes give Lottery officials leeway to keep the winner’s identity confidential.

This may give the Legislature reason to review those statutes to see if an overeager Powerball winner should have a chance to correct her mistake.

Courts NH People Editorial

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