How Jane Doe Quietly Won $560 Million

by: The Knowledge Group

March 20, 2018


Winning the lottery can change anyone’s life. With enough pocket money to live out their dreams, it’s no surprise that winners tend to splash the cash and fulfill their longheld wishes. Yet what happens if you win the lottery but don’t want everyone in town to know?

That’s what happened to one New Hampshire woman who recently won $560 million, but wanted to remain anonymous. The woman had won her prize and was required by the state’s lottery to sign her ticket, yet she went to court for the right to sign the ticket with the name of a trust instead so that she could keep her identity a secret. A judge eventually ruled in her favor, and she walked away from court with her name out of the headlines.

The decision marks what could be a significant shift in legal precedent in the state of New Hampshire. Currently, the state’s Right To Know law dictates that winning lottery tickets are public documents to ensure transparency. While the anonymous woman’s lawyers argued that this rule does little to protect an ethical lottery system but instead subjects winners to a flood of potentially unwanted attention.

The media circus that can follow a large lottery win not only puts the winner front and center of coverage but it can also make them vulnerable to unwanted attention, scams, and even extortion. This can be a fear for winners who want to enjoy their winnings in peace. The anonymous New Hampshire winner stated these concerns as the basis for her case.

Wanting to remain anonymous after a lottery win also makes it easier to be philanthropic with a portion of the winnings. Such as the case with the New Hampshire woman, who decided to give a portion of her winnings to local charities and nonprofits. The ability to remain anonymous might in the future make it more appealing for lottery winners to give some of their winnings to causes of their choice as they can quietly donate without bringing any undue stress or attention on to those charities or themselves.

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