One very lucky New Hampshire woman is the winner of last month’s $560 million Powerball—but she wants to keep her identity a secret.
Due to existing lottery rules, the winner is obligated to publicly claim the winnings, thereby indirectly letting friends and criminals alike know that she has come into millions. The winner fears that the inability to maintain her privacy could put her in the same position of others who were robbed or even killed over their newfound wealth.
She is therefore suing the Lottery Commission to win the right to maintain anonymity when claiming the jackpot, reports NewHampshire.com. According to the winner’s lawyer, the woman (fittingly identified as Jane Doe) did not know that she could have formed an anonymous trust when buying the ticket and considers signing the back of the ticket “a huge mistake.” She has requested to be exempted from New Hampshire’s “Right to Know” law.
The petition explains that Jane Doe “deeply values her privacy.” She wishes to continue to have “the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”
She has therefore since created a trust, “through which she intends to distribute her winnings,” including contributing a portion to a charitable foundation. However, she hopes to “be a silent witness to these good works, far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery ‘winners.’”
New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said that while they “respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.” A hearing has reportedly been sent for Feb. 21.