Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Mega Million, Powerball Lottery Jackpots Continue To Grow, Surpass $318M

Mega Million, Powerball Lottery Jackpots Continue To Grow, Surpass $318M

A judge in Concord, New Hampshire, ruled on Monday that the $560 Powerball jackpot victor who sued to keep remain anonymous, despite signing her ticket with her actual name, can keep the riches and her name withheld from the public.

Lottery victor in New Hampshire fights for her right to remain anonymous; Molly Line reports from New Hampshire.

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. He did rule, however, that the woman's hometown can be publicly released, as it was "highly unlikely" that the woman could be identified as the victor exclusively based on her hometown.

"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.

However, Temple noted that nothing in his order could be interpreted to prevent the lottery commission or its employees from "processing, maintaining, or accessing Ms. Doe's ticket in the normal course of business". Lawyer William Shaheen says the woman is from Merrimack, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Concord (KAHN'-kard). The firm said she made a "huge mistake" when she signed her real name on the back of the ticket before contacting them.

"She was jumping up and down", Shaheen said of his client's reaction to Temple's ruling.

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The woman, from New Hampshire, had signed her ticket after winning the lottery on 6 January but was later told by lawyers that she could have kept her identity hidden by writing the name of a trust instead.

Release of winners' names provides transparency and assures the public that they aren't associated with the lottery, the office said.

Attorneys for Doe last week collected the winnings on behalf of her Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust.

The judge also rejected the lottery commission's argument that the woman's name should be revealed to assure the public she was a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" victor.

The woman is collecting a lump-sum cash prize of $352 million, which will get whittled down to $264 million after taxes.

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.

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