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NH Powerball lottery winner sues for anonymity

PowerballPowerball: NH Powerball lottery winner sues for anonymity
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NASHUA, N.H. — A New Hampshire woman who hit this month's $560 million Powerball jackpot asked a judge Monday to keep her identity secret.

Represented by the law firm Shaheen & Gordon in Concord, the winner of the Jan. 6 lottery drawing says her privacy is at risk because of "a huge mistake."

Identifying herself only as Jane Doe, the winner says she wrote out her name on the back of the ticket she bought from Reed's Ferry Market in a panic to secure it.

Though she had merely been following the directions of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, Doe says an attorney advised her shortly thereafter that she could create a trust to collect her winnings anonymously.

Now that the ticket is signed, Doe's privacy options are limited. Under New Hampshire's Right to Know law, the Lottery Commission will be forced to disclose records identifying the winner if a request for such information is filed.

Such requests are common after any drawing, the commission disclosed, to say nothing of the fact that the jackpot at issue is the seventh-highest in lotto history.

Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the state lottery, says their hands are tied.

"While we respect this player's desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols," McIntyre said in a statement.

McIntyre conceded that a $560 million Powerball jackpot can change the winner's life, but said the procedures at issue were put in place "for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players and our games."

"After consulting with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office on this matter, we have been advised that the lottery must proceed in accordance its rules and by state law in processing this claim like any other," McIntyre added.

Shielding her name in Hillsborough County Superior Court South, Doe describes herself as a lifelong New Hampshire resident who has no plans to leave the Granite State.

"She intends to contribute a portion of her winnings to a charitable foundation, so that they may do good in the world," the complaint states. "She wishes to be a silent witness to these good works, far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery 'winners.'"

Going on to recount a half-dozen instances of lotto winners who faced "life-threatening consequences" after their identities were disclosed, Doe notes that one winner in Georgia was killed just two years ago in a home invasion.

With bucolic New Hampshire at the forefront of the nation's opioid crisis, Doe says the size of the prize in her case enhances her risks.

Doe has big plans for the half-billion-dollar ticket but says "time is of the essence."

"Without the ticket being redeemed, interest is being lost to the petitioner on a daily basis," the complaint states. "The ticket needs to be redeemed within one year."

She notes that the state lotto commission has told her she can't white-out her name from the back of the ticket, as any alteration would invalidate it.

If the commission will not grant her an exception on the Wite-Out, she wants her identifying information redacted from any information release the commission must make under the Right to Know law.

Steven Gordon, an attorney for Doe at Shaheen & Gordon, has not responded to a request for comment.

Thanks to Joseph F. for the tip.

Courthouse News

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94 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by Suzy-Dittlenose.
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Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
Rochester
United States
Member #103282
January 1, 2011
944 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 2, 2018, 10:51 am - IP Logged

I believe "all states" should make "anonymous rights" a law on the benefit of safety for the winner.  There have been some horrible things happen to winners.

Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

    zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
    South Carolina
    United States
    Member #77167
    July 15, 2009
    807 Posts
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    Posted: February 2, 2018, 10:58 am - IP Logged

    Wouldn't she have to sign the ticket to claim it anyway?  The lottery does change your life.  She can afford some security measures if she feels the need.

    Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

    “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

      Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
      Rochester
      United States
      Member #103282
      January 1, 2011
      944 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 2, 2018, 11:17 am - IP Logged

      Yes, she already signed the ticket. Then she wanted to white it out and the lottery commission said if she erased it, it would be invalid. As far as safety, yah you are right, but I like a private life. :)

      Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile

        JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
        melbourne , florida
        United States
        Member #121140
        January 3, 2012
        229 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 2, 2018, 11:18 am - IP Logged

        Being anonymous doesn't keep you safe anyway. Your full responsibility does. When it's time to die it is time to die. A one million dollar lottery winner recently died of cancer would he have lived if he was anonymous. A Florida lady also won more than half billion dollars she is not dead. I don't know what will kill you faster claiming you prize on tv like the smart Massachusetts lady that won over $700 millions or applying white off on your ticket and making it invalid. If you seriously considering your ultimate privacy why did you sign the ticket in the first place. And beside your biggest threat may actually come from within your own family where you cannot be anonymous .Now that you have made one stupid mistake are you going to make another stupid mistake to fix the first stupid mistake with a white off why not use a black off lol Dunk

          lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

          United States
          Member #118609
          November 4, 2011
          1325 Posts
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          Posted: February 2, 2018, 11:39 am - IP Logged

          This issue was bound to come up.  Somewhere I read that you CAN sign your name but save room for the name of your trust on the same line.  Makes sense to me.  Guess time for an attorney to determine how to claim those funds is needed.

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Chasing the Dream.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136477
            December 12, 2012
            5081 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 2, 2018, 11:41 am - IP Logged

            Correct me if l am wrong, but wasn't this winner acting a lil  strange when she was in front of the camera's? Now she wants anonymity?

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Avatar
              Portland, OR
              United States
              Member #145973
              August 20, 2013
              248 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 2, 2018, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

              I have argued with so many seasoned lottery players over the years against signing the tickets.  There you go!  Vindicated!  You should NEVER sign a lottery ticket!  Make videos of it, take pictures of yourself holding it, copy it, hide it underground in a glass jar, but never sign the thing!

              ... Every day is a new life to a wise man...

                TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                A long and winding road
                United States
                Member #17084
                June 10, 2005
                5364 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 2, 2018, 12:46 pm - IP Logged

                One day: there is a nut in every fruitcake. Surely your advocating is enticing for anyone then to sign it and claim it. Matter of fact go ahead and leave your 1 k ticket winner on a table at work. Then congrats the person smart enough to sign it and claim it. Anyone can take a picture with a winning ticket. That is not proof,nor could I find it in any lottery rules. 

                Since its the rule for redemption. I get your stance,it's just not reasonable when wishing to follow the steps.

                 

                I've yet to be assaulted by a ticket or had it ambush me....but hey...it could happen! grin

                 

                Joebiglotto,great response!

                When nothing is going right, go left.

                Lucky numbers: 663, 841,718,827,313,413,174,407,409. 

                  music*'s avatar - box
                  The Big Valley in California
                  United States
                  Member #157856
                  August 2, 2014
                  2493 Posts
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                  Posted: February 2, 2018, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

                  She was very intelligent to get legal help and to learn that she must not white out her signature.

                   Each State is different and has different rules. To say, "Sign the back of your ticket" to the entire nation is misleading. 

                   She now has the money or soon will have it to fight this in Court. Judges are very powerful in their courtrooms. 

                   She now has eleven months left to fight in our Justice System.

                    Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism

                    music*'s avatar - box
                    The Big Valley in California
                    United States
                    Member #157856
                    August 2, 2014
                    2493 Posts
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                    Posted: February 2, 2018, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

                    This issue was bound to come up.  Somewhere I read that you CAN sign your name but save room for the name of your trust on the same line.  Makes sense to me.  Guess time for an attorney to determine how to claim those funds is needed.

                    lejardin,  The famous lottery lawyer Jason Kurland says on his YouTube videos, "Leave room for the name of your trust above your signature". 

                     Each player must find out if their State will allow this. Before buying a ticket and signing it. 

                     "A small piece of paper carries a lot of weight."  This also applies to dollar bills. I forgot who said this. 

                    "More money, more problems," said by a famous Rapper. 

                    Dance

                      Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism

                      JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                      melbourne , florida
                      United States
                      Member #121140
                      January 3, 2012
                      229 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: February 2, 2018, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

                      I have argued with so many seasoned lottery players over the years against signing the tickets.  There you go!  Vindicated!  You should NEVER sign a lottery ticket!  Make videos of it, take pictures of yourself holding it, copy it, hide it underground in a glass jar, but never sign the thing!

                      I don't believe signing the back 

                      Of your ticket is the issue here really. You are supposed to sign the back of your ticket. But she went beyond signing the ticket she decided to also Print Her Full Name. now she is ok with the signing but she wants to white off Her printed name dumb and bumber

                        music*'s avatar - box
                        The Big Valley in California
                        United States
                        Member #157856
                        August 2, 2014
                        2493 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: February 2, 2018, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

                        I don't believe signing the back 

                        Of your ticket is the issue here really. You are supposed to sign the back of your ticket. But she went beyond signing the ticket she decided to also Print Her Full Name. now she is ok with the signing but she wants to white off Her printed name dumb and bumber

                        Her legal case may be strengthened by only wanting to white out her printed name.  Argue

                          Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism

                          JoeBigLotto's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                          melbourne , florida
                          United States
                          Member #121140
                          January 3, 2012
                          229 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: February 2, 2018, 2:32 pm - IP Logged

                          If you win or buy a lottery ticket sign your ticket and take pictures of it . Now if you want to be anonymous later Do Not Print Your Name. If you use your printed name as your signature and you want to be anonymous at same time you need a psychiatrist lolBash

                            music*'s avatar - box
                            The Big Valley in California
                            United States
                            Member #157856
                            August 2, 2014
                            2493 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: February 2, 2018, 2:50 pm - IP Logged

                            This case may be very interesting to follow.  Very instructive as well.  If you need a psychiatrist then do your homework and find one who will know something about the Lottery.  A psychiatrist is able to prescribe medicine. 

                             Always hand a signed ticket to the clerk. Even if it is a winner of a few dollars.  Coffee

                              Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism