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NH Lottery Commission wants Powerball winner's lawsuit dismissed, citing Right-to-Know Law

PowerballPowerball: NH Lottery Commission wants Powerball winner's lawsuit dismissed, citing Right-to-Know Law
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NASHUA, N.H. — The New Hampshire lottery commission is asking a judge to dismiss a recent lawsuit brought forward by a local woman claiming to own the winning $560 million Powerball ticket and fighting to remain anonymous.

"Petitioner's desire for normalcy and anonymity is substantially outweighed by the public's right to transparency in the operation of lottery games," wrote Assistant Attorney General John Conforti.

According to the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the lottery commission believes it is legally obligated to release the lottery ticket with the name and hometown of the winner under the state's Right-to-Know Law.

The woman said she has already signed the ticket with her name. Had the ticket been signed by the trustee of a designated trust, the winner could have maintained her privacy.

Lottery rules require a winner to complete and sign the back of a winning Powerball ticket before being able to claim the prize.

Attorneys for the woman recently filed a lawsuit in Hillsborough County Superior Court asking for her identity to remain a secret.

"Petitioner's understandable yearning for normalcy after entering a lottery to win hundreds of millions of dollars is not a sufficient basis to shut the public out of the business of government," wrote Conforti.

In addition, he maintains that lottery participants voluntarily accept that some degree of information is being submitted to a government entity and may be available to the public under the Right-to-Know Law.

A hearing has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today to discuss the merits of the case.

The woman, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe, has hired the law firm Shaheen and Gordon to represent her.

Attorney Steven Gordon states in court documents that his client is losing about $14,000 in interest every day that she is unable to claim her prize.

He said the disclosure of her identity would constitute an invasion of privacy because the limited 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.

"While petitioner argues that she did not expect to lose her privacy by purchasing the ticket, all lottery participants play the game subject to the New Hampshire Lottery administrative rules and other applicable lottery rules," argued Conforti. The rules require a winner of more than $599 to "produce a valid identification, sign the ticket with their name and address and submit a claim form with personal information."

Doe submitted a motion for approval of a payment of the lottery winnings to a designated trust on Monday, according to court documents. But the state contends that even if the winner now elects to assign the ticket to a trust, the ticket itself will need to be submitted in its original form — with her signature and hometown.

Conforti said the commission is willing to work with the winner to assist her in any manner allowed under the law, but that the commission must act in accordance with the law.

The commission argues that disclosing the woman's name and address does not represent "substantial privacy interests" and is consistent with what other lottery winners or anyone "who voluntarily engage a government agency" must do.

It says fears over the woman's safety are unfounded and that concerns about the jackpot disrupting her life is "the essence of a large jackpot such as Powerball."

"Petitioners life will be altered whether her name is released or not," the commission wrote. "Petitioner's understandable yearning for normalcy after entering a lottery to win hundreds of millions of dollars is not a sufficient basis to shut the public out of the business of government."

Union Leader, Lottery Post Staff

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27 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by Artist77.
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Simpsonville
United States
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Posted: February 13, 2018, 10:59 am - IP Logged

Good for them. 

 

Has anyone entertained the thought that this may hurt sales in the Granite State?  IDK, most people could give a rat's behind to issues like hers!

    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
    Zeta Reticuli Star System
    United States
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    January 17, 2006
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    Posted: February 13, 2018, 11:35 am - IP Logged

    From the OP;

    "It says fears over the woman's safety are unfounded and that concerns about the jackpot disrupting her life is "the essence of a large jackpot such as Powerball.""

    Somebody tell these clods about Abraham Shakespeare and others.

    Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

    Lep

    There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

      noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
      Chasing the Dream.
      White Shores- California
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      Posted: February 13, 2018, 11:39 am - IP Logged

      Watched an old Aussie movie with the Mrs over the weekend called "Strictly Ballroom." In one scene this guy is dancing spectacularly & the audience is going crazy, they start chanting " New steps, new steps"..and the Chairman of the Ballroom committee says with a booming voice " There are no new steps! " Hilarious movie, enjoyable as heck. Kinda reminded me of this woman, she wants " new rules" for her, now that she has won. Btw- Once you see the hairpiece on this chairman's head, it's etched in your memory for all time..l swear.

       * Voice of Reason *   

       

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

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
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        Posted: February 13, 2018, 11:44 am - IP Logged

        moise-gate, 

        Odd that you mentioned the Aussies (sounds like an interesting movie) because their lottery play slips have a NP box to check- No Publicity.

        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

        Lep

        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

          Avatar
          New Member

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          February 13, 2018
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          Posted: February 13, 2018, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

          Six states allow you the choice to claim the jackpot anonymously ( Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina)... so it's not like something that can't be done. This is essentially a government operation...benefiting gov't agencies and ultimately the "people"...and those of us who play are paying. Why can't we all have the simple choice whether to be public or not if we win? While they are at it...since the government directly benefits why should they tax our winnings? Canada has tax free jackpots.At the very minimum the jackpots should be taxed at a one time low flat rate of say 10%. Most people who win are nowhere near the tax rate they are thrown into by winning.... even a million dollar jackpot is reduced by 1/3 or more...and the winner may never ever see that kind of money again.... and yet 1/3 is taken, as if that was their regular income... it is not fair at all. Where are the advocates that can represent the common citizen when the gov't sets up situations like the lottery. Who decided the rules? Probably self-interest groups like the ones who decide that only 5 companies could grow legal pot in the whole state of Florida!!??! If this is a gov't of the people then why do a select few decide what is best for the majority like with the lottery system?Why can't we vote on it? We need changes.... and this simple right to be free to win... without harassment is a great place to start...

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Chasing the Dream.
            White Shores- California
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            December 12, 2012
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            Posted: February 13, 2018, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

            Six states allow you the choice to claim the jackpot anonymously ( Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina)... so it's not like something that can't be done. This is essentially a government operation...benefiting gov't agencies and ultimately the "people"...and those of us who play are paying. Why can't we all have the simple choice whether to be public or not if we win? While they are at it...since the government directly benefits why should they tax our winnings? Canada has tax free jackpots.At the very minimum the jackpots should be taxed at a one time low flat rate of say 10%. Most people who win are nowhere near the tax rate they are thrown into by winning.... even a million dollar jackpot is reduced by 1/3 or more...and the winner may never ever see that kind of money again.... and yet 1/3 is taken, as if that was their regular income... it is not fair at all. Where are the advocates that can represent the common citizen when the gov't sets up situations like the lottery. Who decided the rules? Probably self-interest groups like the ones who decide that only 5 companies could grow legal pot in the whole state of Florida!!??! If this is a gov't of the people then why do a select few decide what is best for the majority like with the lottery system?Why can't we vote on it? We need changes.... and this simple right to be free to win... without harassment is a great place to start...

            Very succinct first Post Sam77... Welcome to LP.Smile

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

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

              noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
              Chasing the Dream.
              White Shores- California
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              Posted: February 13, 2018, 12:25 pm - IP Logged

              moise-gate, 

              Odd that you mentioned the Aussies (sounds like an interesting movie) because their lottery play slips have a NP box to check- No Publicity.

              l like the Aussie idea very much CT. However Americans as a whole love news. Who's having an affair with whom, who's getting divorce, how much money does so & so have? Must have journalists embedded with the troops, we have an insatiable need to know everything.l think we need to draw the line somewhere, l propose- here!

               * Voice of Reason *   

               

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

                Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
                Rochester
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                Posted: February 13, 2018, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

                She should have consulted an attorney before doing anything..

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

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                  Posted: February 13, 2018, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

                  This person is the most ungrateful winner I've ever heard of. This news is a trending story now on Facebook. She obviously has no bills to pay.

                    TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                    A long and winding road
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                    Posted: February 13, 2018, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

                    At the time of her winnings she was to be in accordance to the rules. Her being a "special" snowflake doesn't automatically grant her exception. 

                    Maybe she can eventually serve to change the rules, but until then the state is well within its logic and actions to ask her to abide.

                    When nothing is going right, go left.

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

                      rundown99's avatar - cigar

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                      Posted: February 13, 2018, 2:03 pm - IP Logged

                      She will receive the money, regardless of whether or not she can remain anonymous.

                       

                      http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/powerball-winner-who-demands-anonymity-to-get-money/ar-BBJ3Cx8?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP

                      Smart lottery winners form trust to claim their winnings.  They send an attorney to the lottery headquarters to claim the prize in trust, so that ONLY the name of the trust is revealed.  And they tell NO ONE, especially relatives.

                      If you ever win a lottery and you are single, the only person you should ever marry is someone who was truly in love with you BEFORE you won the jackpot!

                      People can talk about strategies and gimmicks all they want, but unless your ticket actually matches at least 5 of those 6 balls, you are just another person who tried to win a game yet ultimately failed.

                        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                        Zeta Reticuli Star System
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                        Posted: February 13, 2018, 3:35 pm - IP Logged

                        l like the Aussie idea very much CT. However Americans as a whole love news. Who's having an affair with whom, who's getting divorce, how much money does so & so have? Must have journalists embedded with the troops, we have an insatiable need to know everything.l think we need to draw the line somewhere, l propose- here!

                        noise-gate,

                        Oh how true!

                        I have an acquaintance who was involved in a land deal that had went to court. An auto dealer wanted the property and the land owner complained every day about friends of his calling him and asking how much he was going to get.

                        I told him since it was in court it was best he cdidn't say anything. His reply was, "That would be rude".

                        I'm in a rural area.

                        Bang Head

                        PS,

                        I do wonder how many of the 'right to know' set would act very differently if they won a jackpot.

                        Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                        Lep

                        There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

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                          Simpsonville
                          United States
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                          January 22, 2015
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                          Posted: February 13, 2018, 4:09 pm - IP Logged

                          She will receive the money, regardless of whether or not she can remain anonymous.

                           

                          http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/powerball-winner-who-demands-anonymity-to-get-money/ar-BBJ3Cx8?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP

                          Thanks rundown99 for that link.  It was an interesting read from Nashua, NH.

                          So if her name were to get released, this story is everywhere.  Do you ever hear from the largest MM winner from FL?  The largest PB winner from MA?  How about that 'youngster' that won a huge MM jackpot in FL just last month?  They get their money and go on with their lives. 

                          Of course it should be the winner's choice, but honestly believe this won't be the case with this winner.  Rules and regulations would have to be changed state by state with the exception of the six that already allow anonymity.

                            zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
                            South Carolina
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                            Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:18 pm - IP Logged

                            All of this because the winner signed the ticket.  Kind of takes the fun out of winning.

                            Last time the state legislature voted for anonymity the governor vetoed it.

                            I hope the court rules in her favor. 

                            http://www.wmur.com/article/amendment-would-allow-nh-lottery-winners-to-remain-anonymous/17046032

                            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