Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Judge rules $560M Powerball victor can remain anonymous

The winning ticket was bought in Merrimack The winning ticket was bought in Merrimack. Credit Todd Bookman NHPR
Samantha Long | 14 March, 2018, 00:45

CONCORD, N.H. A judge ruled today that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

The victor sued the New Hampshire Lottery last month under the name of Jane Doe, in a bid to collect the winnings through a trust to protect her anonymity.

The winner's privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name outweighs the public's interest in the disclosure of her name, the judge concluded.

She signed the back of her ticket, but didn't realize that when she signed it, her name was about to go public.

"The Court therefore has no difficulty finding that [the woman] would also be subject to similar solicitation and harassment if her identity were disclosed", Temple wrote.

Judge Charles Temple is presiding over the bid by New Hampshire lotto victor "Jane Doe" to preserve her anonymity in Hillsborough Superior Court.

The judge dismissed the state's argument that disclosing her name would show the public that the lottery system is above board.

However, the commission argued that it was required to disclose her name and hometown as the information was already written on the ticket.

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Last month a judge ruled that she could start collecting the money she won in the jackpot. The Attorney General's Office didn't immediately return a call to see if it will appeal the judge's ruling.

"While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court's decision", said a statement from the New Hampshire Lottery.

Cashiers Kathy Robinson, left, and Ethel Kroska, right, both of Merrimack, N.H., sell a lottery ticket at Reeds Ferry Market convenience store in Merrimack on January 7, 2018.

Temple, who already agreed to let Doe collect her winnings through the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018 several weeks earlier, refused meanwhile to let Doe keep her hometown a secret.

"She was jumping up and down", said her lawyer, William Shaheen.

Lottery victor in New Hampshire fights for her right to remain anonymous; Molly Line reports from New Hampshire.

The payout netted Doe $264 million after taxes, and her lawyers announced a combined $250,000 contribution from the trust to Girls Inc. of New Hampshire and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger. Last week, the trust made donations totaling almost $250,000 to Girls Inc. and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.

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