Lawyers to pick up Powerball winner's check, say she'll share wealth with Girls Inc. and group fighting childhood hunger

New Hampshire Union Leader
March 07. 2018 7:41AM
Attorneys Stephen Gordon and Bill Shaheen, seen here after a court hearing on their client's bid to retain her anonymity, will be accepting a ceremonial check for the woman's $559 million Powerball jackpot prize today. (UNION LEADER FILE/KIMBERLY HOUGHTON)

Girls Inc. and a childhood hunger organization are the first charities to benefit from the still unidentified $559 million Powerball winner, whose lawyers will accept her winnings on her behalf during a morning news conference today.

Girls Inc. will receive a $150,000 donation, said attorney Bill Shaheen, who is representing the winner in her fight to remain anonymous. Three New Hampshire branches of End 68 Hours of Hunger will each receive $33,000.

“Her plan is to become very generous and give back to the community, and this is a good way to start,” Shaheen said. Other donations will be made in the near future. Some will be announced, others will be made quietly, he said.

The 68 Hours organization supplies food to school children on Friday afternoons. The organization’s name represents the length of time from Friday afternoon to Monday morning when some children are home with no food, Shaheen said.

Chapters in Nashua, Derry and Dover will each receive a donation.

Girls Inc. offers after-school programs, summer camps and other enrichment activities for disadvantaged girls in New Hampshire. The state Lottery Commission has scheduled a news conference for 11:30 a.m. today when a ceremonial check will be given to Shaheen and his law partner Stephen Gordon, who also represents the winner, identified as “Jane Doe.”

Also on hand will be representatives of the charities. No actual check will be passed today. Doe already received a wire transfer last week, Shaheen said.

Three weeks ago, Gordon and Shaheen appeared in a Hillsborough County courtroom and asked that the identity of the winner — who has already signed the ticket — be kept secret.

The two said their client has become highly stressed.

Judge Charles Temple has ruled that the prize money can be awarded while he considers whether to reveal the winner’s name.

In earlier court filings, the winner is identified only as Jane Doe, a longtime New Hampshire resident who is an active member of her community. She purchased the ticket for the Jan. 6 Powerball drawing at the Reed’s Ferry Market in Merrimack.

To obtain the prize, Doe must provide a photo identification and her Social Security number to lottery officials so they can search records to determine if she owes any unpaid child support, which is required by state law.

The ticket, which includes the winner’s signature, remains in the possession of the Lottery Commission, which won’t disclose it to the public until Temple rules on Doe’s civil suit.; Union Leader correspondent Kimberly Houghton contributed to this article.

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