New Hampshire $559 Million Powerball Winner Can Stay Anonymous, Judge Rules

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
March 12, 2018US News
New Hampshire $559 Million Powerball Winner Can Stay Anonymous, Judge Rules
A customer purchases Powerball lottery tickets at a convenience store in Washington on Nov. 26, 2012. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

A judge ruled the name of the $559 million Powerball winner from New Hampshire does not have to be revealed.

A woman only known as “Jane Doe” purchased the winning Powerball ticket on Jan. 6. She soon regretted signing the ticket under her own name instead of finding out how to set up a trust and collect the winnings anonymously, NTD reported.

The legal fight to maintain her privacy was finally resolved with a judge ruling that the town where she lived, but not her name, could be revealed to the public, WMUR reported. The winner is from Merrimack.

Even before the ruling, Jane Doe accepted the prize money into a trust fund she set up with lawyers. She also prepared for the danger that could follow if her name was made public. She had a security team on standby, NTD reported.

Jane Doe agreed to a lump sum check for less than the stated prize amount. Lawyers from Shaheen & Gordon accepted a check for $352 million on March 7 on her behalf, along with announcements that hundreds of thousands of dollars that would go to local charities, an earlier WMUR article reported.

“Right now, we feed 200 children in Nashua, elementary children, and this total will help us feed them for an entire school year,” Melissa Baxter of End 68 Hours of Hunger told WMUR, referring to how the donation would help her organization.

“It goes so far,” Cathy Duffy Cullity of Girls Inc. told WMUR. She accepted a check for $150,000 on behalf of her organization. “We service close to 2,000 girls, and the majority of those girls are low income. So we need to scholarship them into all of our programming.”

New Hampshire lottery officials gave their reaction to the ruling in a statement, obtained by WMUR.

“While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court’s decision. That said, we will consult with the Attorney General’s office to determine appropriate next steps regarding the case.”

According to Shaheen & Gordon, Jane Doe is the 11th Powerball winner in New Hampshire history. The law firm also helped a $487 Powerball winner collect their winnings anonymously, in 2016, according to a blog post from the firm.


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