$500000000 Lottery Winner Suing To Remain Anonymous

$500000000 Lottery Winner Suing To Remain Anonymous

A New Hampshire woman who says she won a $560 million Powerball jackpot in January is losing about $14,000 a day in interest as she fights a legal battle to remain anonymous, according to her attorney, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

The woman's lawyer has filed a case requesting to keep her anonymous. Under New Hampshire's Right-to-Know law, most public documents must be released upon appropriate request, and the commission would be legally obligated to release the winning ticket with, at a minimum, the winner's name and hometown, it states.

The ticket will have to be submitted as signed with the winner's signature and personal information, the commission states. "Doe would like to cash her ticket", said attorney Steven Gordon, who represents the victor.

The unidentified victor is going to court in hopes of getting her winnings while maintaining anonymity. Judge Charles Temple took the case under advisement after a short hearing.

"We come to the court today in a Catch 22, not of our own making", said attorney Steven Gordon, representing the victor. That would mean her name would then have to become part of the public record because of the state's Right-To-Know laws.

The lawyers said they want to keep their client's real name private to protect her from what they described as "violence, threats, harassment, scams and constant unwanted solicitation" that have befallen previous lottery winners.

"When somebody wins a public lottery of $560 million, there is a public interest in knowing who the victor was, and that it is a fair and equitable process", John J. Conforti, an assistant attorney general representing the lottery commission, told the court.

The New Hampshire resident says she made a huge mistake and hasn't turned in the ticket yet. However, the complaint says, the commission has informed her that any adjustment of the ticket will make it invalid.

She later learned that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust. But the state said that would alter the ticket and render it invalid. If lawmakers can't help her, they might at least help future winners. She wants to avoid the bad luck that has plagued other lottery winners.

'While we respect this player's desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols, ' Charlie McIntyre, New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director, said after consulting with the state Attorney General's office. Jane Doe's lawyers suggested that she be allowed to "white-out" her signature in front of the commission - a procedure used at least once, in OH - and then have a trust sign it. The state Attorney General's Office said the real name of the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, must be revealed because she signed her name on the back of the ticket.

After court, Shaheen, one of her lawyers, told reporters that his advice to her was simple: "If you like your family and you like your friends and you like your relatives, don't tell anybody".

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