A New Hampshire woman received a stroke of luck when she purchased a winning Powerball lottery ticket. Her earnings are a whopping $560 million. However, after coming forward and triple checking the numbers all that’s left for the the woman to do to collect her winnings is make her name public, and according to reports she refuses.
In court documents The Washington Post obtained from NewHampshire.com, the unidentified woman is being referred to as Jane Doe. Doe’s lawyer Steven Gordon wrote his client simply wants to go on with her life without the world knowing she’s now $560 million richer.
“She is a longtime resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member,” Gordon wrote. “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.”
According to lottery officials, making a public show of the person holding the gigantic check helps maintain the integrity. On the other side is a woman who according to Gordon wants to live “far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery winners.”
Unfortunately, the law isn’t on the winner’s side.
Lottery rules in New Hampshire require the winner’s name, town of residence and the amount of the winning ticket be made public. In a statement, New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said the commission consulted with the state’s attorney general’s office and doubled down that the winner must abide by the laws and make their identity known “like any other.”
“The New Hampshire Lottery understands that winning a $560 million Powerball jackpot is a life-changing occurrence,” the statement said. “Having awarded numerous Powerball jackpots over the years, we also understand that the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players and our games. While we respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.”
The unidentified winner’s request isn’t farfetched as there are several examples of lottery winners who have fallen on hard times after winning. In November 2015, Craigory Burch Jr won a $434,272 jackpot. Just two months later law enforcement said he was killed by seven masked men who kicked the door down into his home. Burch’s surviving family said his lottery winning made him a target.
Do you think the lottery commission should allow the unidentified woman to remain anonymous while collecting her earnings? Sound off in the comments below.