What if you could win over half a billion dollars, but the only catch is everyone would know who you are. The winner of last month’s $560 million Powerball jackpot wants to remain anonymous — but if the New Hampshire Lottery Commission has its way, she won’t be able to.
That’s because the lucky Jane Doe made the mistake of signing the back of the ticket upon winning. New Hampshire’s Right-To-Know law requires the Lottery Commission to reveal the name of the winner. Experts say if you win the lottery, you should have the ticket signed by the trustee of a designated trust.
It’s the ticket itself that becomes a public document, and that piece of paper already has Jane Doe’s name and hometown written on the back. A New Hampshire court is hearing the case, and the state has already moved to have it dismissed.
Assistant Attorney General John Conforti said: "Petitioner’s desire for normalcy and anonymity is substantially outweighed by the public’s right to transparency in the operation of lottery games." However, Jane Doe's attorney disagrees, stating in court documents that "public interest is outweighed by Doe’s interest in remaining anonymous and that her half-billion dollars in winnings are certain to attract unwanted and malicious attention."
Jane Doe’s attorneys claim the matter is urgent, as she’s losing up to $14,000 of potential interest every day that she doesn’t have the money. If you don’t understand why Jane Doe wants to remain anonymous, keep in mind that 70% of lottery winners file for bankruptcy within five years and experts say a primary issue is that winners give too much money to family and friends.
So, yeah, a great way to avoid that pitfall is to keep your family and friends from knowing about it! Jane Doe definitely doesn’t want to become yet another story of a lottery winner falling on hard times.
What do you guys think? Should Jane Doe be able to stay anonymous? What would you do if you won the lottery? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.