Woman Wins $560 Million In Lottery, Risks Her Fortune To Satisfy One Condition
A New Hampshire woman recently won $560 million in the Powerball jackpot, but she doesn’t want you to know who she is. I mean, would you want the entire world to know that you’re halfway to being a billionaire?
Now the woman is fighting to remain anonymous while still collecting the prize she won during the Jan. 6 drawing since the New Hampshire attorney general is fighting her request on the grounds that the public has the right to know.
“She is a long-time resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member,” her court complaint, where she’s listed as Jane Doe reads. “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.”
When Jane Doe found out that she was the winner of the seventh largest jackpot in U.S. history, she followed the directions on the Lottery Commission’s website that said to sign the back of the ticket.
After consulting with her lawyer, she realized her name would be revealed under New Hampshire’s Right to Know laws.
Her complaint asked that she be allowed to alter the ticket and remove her name and replace it with a newly created trust that would be publicly available without revealing her name.
The name of the trust would be “The Good Karma Family Trust of 2018 with Bill Shaheen, law partner of Steve Gordon, and husband of U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as the trustee, New Hampshire Public Radio reports. The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says that her petition should be dismissed.
“[The winner’s] desire for normalcy and anonymity is substantially outweighed by the public’s right to transparency in the operation of lottery games,” writes the AG’s response to the petition said.
The case was heard in Superior Court on Tuesday
“We feel that our obligation under the law is to disclose this information,” John Conforti, an Assistant Attorney General for New Hampshire said in court. “We don’t feel that we can choose when we follow the law, and when we don’t.”
Jane Doe’s lawyers argued transparency really isn’t necessary in this case.
“So the idea that identifying who wins a lottery–the name of the person who wins a lottery–how does that tell you anything about what the Commission is up to?” lawyer Steve Gordon during the hearing. “It’s a feel good argument. ‘We want to be transparent.’ But it has the substance of cotton candy once you start looking at it in detail.”
The lawyer did not issue an immediate ruling. Jane Doe is losing an estimated $15,000 each day the ticket goes unclaimed.
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