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Making it up: Judge rewrites Powerball rules

March 13. 2018 11:53PM

The rules of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission require winners to disclose their identities in order to ensure transparency. We should know that jackpots aren’t being set aside for some state official’s cousin.

The winner of a $560 million Powerball jackpot did not want to play by the rules, so she asked a judge to ignore them.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple went even further; making up new rules off the top of his head.

Temple ruled that the woman may keep her name from being disclosed, based on her fear of unwanted attention as New Hampshire’s newest multi-millionaire. But he said she had to disclose where she lived.

Nothing in the law justifies such hair-splitting, or to give Temple authority to issue such an order.

It was Temple’s responsibility to interpret the law as it is written, not to make up some new standard that he thought best fit the case.

We sympathize with the winner’s desire to remain anonymous, but the rules requiring she disclose her identity were in place when she bought her winning ticket.

We do not sympathize with Temple’s belief that he can make up the law as he goes along.

Courts Editorial State Government

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