New Hampshire judge rules $560M Powerball victor can remain anonymous
New Hampshire judge rules $560M Powerball victor can remain anonymous
A winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Orleans for Saturday's drawing lottery officials said. It's worth $150,000
13 March, 2018, 06:34
The winning ticket was sold at Reed's Ferry Market in Merrimack, N.H., for the January 6 drawing.
A New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million can keep her name private, a judge ruled Monday.
He said there was "no evidence" that the New Hampshire Lottery Commission was engaged in corrupt activity and noted that the winning numbers are drawn in Florida anyway.
In his order, Judge Charles Temple said the woman - known as "Jane Doe" in her lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission - had proven that her right to privacy outweighed the public's interest in learning her name.
Billy Shaheen, a lawyer for the New Hampshire victor, who was described in court papers only as Jane Doe, said that his client was elated to hear the news.
The woman's attorney, William Shaheen, said the woman is from Merrimack, 25 miles south of the state capital, Concord.
The judge wrote that he had "no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications".
"The Commission is enjoined from ever releasing her name or address permanently". Identified in court documents as Jane Doe, a woman who bought the winning ticket there won the $559.7 million jackpot and has filed suit to preserve her anonymity.
The judge also rejected the lottery commission's argument that the woman's name should be revealed to assure the public she was a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" victor.
The woman could have remained anonymous had she established a trust, then had a trustee sign the ticket, the lawyers argued.
Last week she received just over $264m - her winnings minus taxes and bearing in mind winners get a smaller amount if they opt for a lump sum payment.
"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. The state Attorney General's Office said the woman's name must be revealed because she signed the back of the ticket, USA Today reported.
Maura McCann, a spokeswoman for the Lottery Commission, said in an e-mail that the state couldn't release Doe's hometown Monday, since "the ruling is not yet a final decision, still subject to final review and appeal". The first thing he did was give a total of about $249,000 to a couple of nonprofits - Girls Inc. and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger - and said the woman plans to give away as much as $50 million in the future.
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