So, you’re the Powerball winner? As the winner of such a Powerball jackpot, publicity is the last distraction you need, right? There’s a chance you could remain anonymous, if that’s your preference.
As the Powerball winner, although you know you’ll be generous with the winnings, other people — based on past winner testimonies — will try to guilt trip, con, and swindle you, once they know your identity. Anonymous might be the way. There will also be organizations and business entities requesting pledges, donations, and investments — not to mention others who will come “out of the woodworks” after finding out you’re the Powerball winner.
Pacifica Wealth Investors notes similar, probable inconveniences. However, for the Powerball winner, it specifically states, “when you have a lot of assets, you can become a target for lawsuits, harassment, and requests for money — from family, friends, and often complete strangers!” If nothing else does, this should make a person desire to remain anonymous, right?
Yet, when it comes to state laws, can the Powerball winner opt for an anonymous status? As the source mentions, only five states offer that option.
- Delaware (DE)
- Kansas (KS)
- Maryland (MD)
- North Dakota (ND)
- Ohio (OH)
While the source mentions only five states, there are past winners from other states who have found ways to remain anonymous in their own ways. Forbes recommends that you, as the Powerball winner, can use a particular type of trust — depending on how anonymous you require your status.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) January 14, 2016
As you can see, they’re already looking for the Powerball winner.
The source names two specific, anonymous trusts that the winner could utilize. They both would limit money requests from others. However, one makes the Powerball trustee more mysterious than the other. Also, one requires an accurate understanding of legal concepts in order for it to work as it’s defined.
The first of the two options is called a blind trust. It’s not blind from the trustee’s perspective, but it is from that of others. If you’re the Powerball winner and you want to set up an “anonymous” blind trust, this is where you would create an entity and give it a name other than your own. As it notes in Forbes, you’ll have “100 percent control of the trust, assets, and decisions,” as its trustee. Yet, you would remain anonymous during queries such as asset searches.
However, with that anonymous trust, the Powerball winner could still be found if people want money bad enough. This is where the other one comes into play. It’s a trust within a trust. The source notes that it’s held for high-profile winners, much like when you find yourself the recipient of the $1.5 billion Powerball ticket numbers. Of course, as can be seen by its name, it requires two of the aforementioned options.
Additional Powerball winners confirmed in Florida and Tennessee https://t.co/OlxXxcgsVu
— KTLA (@KTLA) January 14, 2016
For anonymous purposes, the Powerball winner has to use a claiming trust. So that there is no confusion, TheInquisitr will quote Forbes in verbatim.
“It’s called the Claiming Trust because this is the entity that claims the prize. As the winner, you assign the ticket to the trust. The trust, which now holds the winning ticket, can claim the prize. The Claiming Trust is a short-term trust that simply claims the prize and then distributes the win to the Bridge Trust. To keep your win as private as possible, the Claiming Trust should have a unique title not at all related or traceable to you. For example, you wouldn’t want the trust to have your name, address, or other identifiable information as the title.”
It’s ironic that this would seem “anonymous,” because throughout this document, the Powerball winner’s name is listed as the grantor, trustee, and beneficiary. However, this is where the aforementioned bridge trust comes into play.
“The lottery proceeds are paid into the Claiming Trust and then almost immediately transferred into the Bridge Trust. The reason the lottery proceeds aren’t simply paid to the Bridge Trust is because the Claiming Trust helps to shield the true identity of the winner – it is cloaked to avoid determining the true owner. The Bridge Trust, however, is not designed to protect the identity of the winner. The details of this trust are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, so your name can be listed as grantor and trustee, but because the trust name will be listed as beneficiary of the Claiming Trust, which is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, it’s best not to name the Bridge Trust with personally identifiable information.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 14, 2016
So in essence, your identity as the Powerball winner could be protected, though you’d have to jump through a few metaphorical hoops first. Would it not greater benefit you to remain an anonymous winner? It’s understood that you want and will give to charitable causes, friends, families, etc. — even if only for tax purposes, it’s going to happen. The thing is that you don’t want it to be public knowledge that you are the Powerball winner and be hassled about giving.
There are countless stories from past Powerball award recipients who wish they had never won. The Inquisitr previously reported one case where the Powerball winner’s granddaughter paid the ultimate price due to people’s greed. In the article, the Powerball winner roughly stated that, when you have something, people want it at whatever costs.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 14, 2016
As it seems, the most successful cases come when people opt to stay anonymous or make themselves anonymous by aforementioned legal procedures. It’s already stressful enough figuring out how to protect your money from the government, right? Why add on friends, family, and strangers?
What are your thoughts about the Powerball winner? Will the winner choose to be anonymous? Feel free to share your feelings in the comments.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News]