She is sitting on a $560 million winning Powerball ticket, which makes this New Hampshire woman what most would call very well off financially, but that can’t happen until she claims her prize. While the prize is there ready and waiting for her, it seems the New Hampshire Lottery has a few roadblocks in the way for the woman who does not want her name revealed to the public.
The woman’s name has not been revealed as of yet, which is where this story starts — with her name. The lone lottery winner of the huge Powerball jackpot last month wants to remain anonymous, but the laws are very specific in New Hampshire when it comes to winning the lottery. After making a “huge mistake” by signing her ticket, she is now at the stage of the game where there’s nothing she can do to keep her name hidden once coming forth to claim her prize.
New Hampshire is one of the few states that allows a lottery winner to put their winnings in an “anonymous trust,” which would keep her name from going public. But the woman apparently followed the advice that is heard over and over again as the first thing a lottery winner should do — sign the ticket.
In this case, she took that option of a blind trust off the table with her signature now on that winning ticket. According to Fox News, the only other option offered in the rules and regulations that govern claiming a lottery prize in New Hampshire entails this woman’s name being revealed to the public.
According to the Fox & Friends live broadcast on Tuesday morning, the woman, who is being referred to as “Jane Doe,” has been turned down by the lottery commission for the “anonymous trust” option. Despite explaining to the commission how she signed her ticket “based on her interpretation of rules posted on the lottery website,” they wouldn’t allow the change.
She now has to abide by New Hampshire’s open-records law which mandates that lottery winners not only make their name public but the town they live in as well, along with the amount of money claimed. The woman has filed a complaint in the Hillsborough Superior Court in Nashua, but from what Fox News is reporting, she is left in a dilemma with only two options available to her right now.
Those two options are “forego forever either a once-in-a-lifetime payday or her anonymity,” which her attorney states “is legally impermissible.” The problem of releasing her name after winning such a huge amount of prize money is obvious and there have been a few tragic incidents in the past for other lottery jackpot winners whose names were made public.
Two years ago a forklift operator from Georgia won $435,272 in the lottery and masked robbers broke into his home. The man was executed as he pleaded for his life. Another case made the national headlines back in 2012 after a Chicago man won $1 million in the lottery, but he was dead the day after he won. He was poisoned with cyanide and despite family members being suspects in the case, it was never solved.
Back in 2005, a man in Illinois won $20 million and he “was murdered” by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Jane Doe’s lawyer has stated the woman’s case in court documents.
“She is a longtime resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member. She wishes to continue this work and 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.”