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Judge rules $560M Powerball lottery winner can stay anonymous

PowerballPowerball: Judge rules $560M Powerball lottery winner can stay anonymous
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CONCORD, N.H. — A judge ruled Monday that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

Judge Charles Temple noted that the case's resolution rested on application of the state's Right-to-Know law, which governs access to public records for the woman. She was identified as "Jane Doe" in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

Temple wrote 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." He said she met her burden of showing that her privacy interest outweighs the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

However, Temple noted that nothing in his order could be interpreted to prevent the lottery commission or its employees from "processing, maintaining, or accessing Ms. Doe's ticket in the normal course of business."

The woman signed her ticket after the Jan. 6 drawing, but later learned from lawyers that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust. They said she was upset after learning she was giving up her anonymity by signing the ticket — something the lottery commission acknowledged isn't spelled out on the ticket, but is detailed on its website. The woman ended up establishing the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.

Temple found that the commission's argument that revealing her name to ensure the public she's a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" winner was not persuasive, because a trustee claiming a prize on someone's behalf is certainly not a "bona fide" participant or a "real" winner.

Last week, the commission handed over $264 million — the amount left after taxes were deducted — to the woman's lawyers. They said she would give $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state. It is the first of what her lawyers said would be donations over the years of between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime.

The woman's lawyers have only said she is from southern New Hampshire and doesn't want the attention that often comes with winning a big jackpot.

AP

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79 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by KY Floyd.
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Simpsonville
United States
Member #163189
January 22, 2015
1320 Posts
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Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

Todd, you must have read the story same time I did.

 

I wonder if she'll be outed through FOIA? 

 

Maybe my late Mum's old saying 'loose lips sink ships' will prevail.  Somebody will blab.

    CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
    Central TN
    United States
    Member #121193
    January 4, 2012
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    Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:13 pm - IP Logged

    While I am glad she has been given anonymity (at this point) I am thinking on appeal this may get overturned.  Time will tell on what the state decides to do What?

    Integrity  is the simple act of doing what is right at all times

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #186910
      January 2, 2018
      39 Posts
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      Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:15 pm - IP Logged

      This is an example of the rich getting what they want through the court system. I would vote against her being able to remain anonymous. I am not against rich people, but the rules are the rules.

        zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
        South Carolina
        United States
        Member #77167
        July 15, 2009
        807 Posts
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        Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:15 pm - IP Logged

        That's how it works in SC--name is not given but city the person lives is given.

        The store that sold the ticket is always given.

        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

          wpb's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          Charlotte North Carolina
          United States
          Member #464
          July 9, 2002
          18271 Posts
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          Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:18 pm - IP Logged

          Good, I think all states should do this.

          wpb

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            Maryland
            United States
            Member #162434
            January 2, 2015
            1532 Posts
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            Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:22 pm - IP Logged

            This is an example of the rich getting what they want through the court system. I would vote against her being able to remain anonymous. I am not against rich people, but the rules are the rules.

            I Agree!

            Pandora's box has been opened - watch who sues next to get the state to change the rules after the fact. 

              lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

              United States
              Member #118609
              November 4, 2011
              1325 Posts
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              Posted: March 12, 2018, 4:35 pm - IP Logged

              All states need to protect the identity or the least the winner should HAVE THE CHOICE to remain anonymous. 

                Avatar
                boston,ma
                United States
                Member #150102
                December 15, 2013
                113 Posts
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                Posted: March 12, 2018, 5:11 pm - IP Logged

                I don't like this decision. You should know the rules before you play, especially with this amount of money on the line. I do believe this would be overturned on appeal if they do appeal but it doesn't sound like they want to.

                  konane's avatar - wallace
                  Atlanta, GA
                  United States
                  Member #1265
                  March 13, 2003
                  4283 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 12, 2018, 5:12 pm - IP Logged

                  All states need to protect the identity or the least the winner should HAVE THE CHOICE to remain anonymous. 

                  I Agree!   Good for her! It's time a precedent is set in court for other states to follow.  Several years ago I was in favor of name, etc., being made public but not after reading about tragedies and in some cases stalking and loss of life. 

                  I'm sure Georgia is watching this closely.

                  The best of luck to everyone! Sun Smiley

                    Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
                    Rochester
                    United States
                    Member #103282
                    January 1, 2011
                    944 Posts
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                    Posted: March 12, 2018, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

                    A judge ruled Monday that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

                    Judge Charles Temple noted that the case's resolution rested on application of the state's Right-to-Know law, which governs access to public records for the woman. She was identified as "Jane Doe" in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

                    Temple wrote 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." He said she met her burden of showing that her privacy interest outweighs the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

                    However, Temple noted that nothing in his order could be interpreted to prevent the lottery commission or its employees from "processing, maintaining, or accessing Ms. Doe's ticket in the normal course of business."

                    The woman signed her ticket after the Jan. 6 drawing, but later learned from lawyers that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust. They said she was upset after learning she was giving up her anonymity by signing the ticket — something the lottery commission acknowledged isn't spelled out on the ticket, but is detailed on its website. The woman ended up establishing the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.

                    Temple found that the commission's argument that revealing her name to ensure the public she's a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" winner was not persuasive, because a trustee claiming a prize on someone's behalf is certainly not a "bona fide" participant or a "real" winner.

                    Last week, the commission handed over $264 million — the amount left after taxes were deducted — to the woman's lawyers. They said she would give $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state. It is the first of what her lawyers said would be donations over the years of between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime.

                    The woman's lawyers have only said she is from southern New Hampshire and doesn't want the attention that often comes with winning a big jackpot.

                    I think this was a fair and respected by the court. Case closed! Smash

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

                      Artist77's avatar - batman14

                      United States
                      Member #121745
                      January 16, 2012
                      6125 Posts
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                      Posted: March 12, 2018, 5:45 pm - IP Logged

                      I am so thrilled for her and what a tremendous precedent it sets for all lottery players. The few of  "us" who predicted the outcome, seemed to understand that a court does not just simply apply the law and rules. As I predicted, the equities or basic fairness principles also played a role. If a judge simply read a law and applied it...if A, then B... you could have grade school dropouts do this....but that is not how case law, precedents and carve outs are created.

                      No, her name cannot be obtained under FOIA since it falls under 1 of the 9 exemptions...unwarranted invasion of personal privacy...and a court already ruled on the privacy issue so it is directly applicable to FOIA. 

                      Next steps:

                      An appeal? Possible but it would anger a lot of lottery players. There is a big risk for the lottery in appealing to a higher court since one could bring in all the dirty laundry...lottery murders, etc. So,  since the judge slammed the hypocrisy  of allowing claims via trusts to support their claims of transparancy, the state lottery might try to change the law to ban trusts.  The state lottery will also try to tell the next person who tries this that well, that was an unique case. No, it is not.

                      But this is a big win for all of us!!! Hurray! If you live in this state, make certain all your lottery playing friends know of this decision !!!

                      ***Just the facts. ***

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                        Blue Bell,Pa
                        United States
                        Member #156248
                        June 12, 2014
                        19 Posts
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                        Posted: March 12, 2018, 5:47 pm - IP Logged

                        I hope they appeal and she loses. She shouldn't of played if she didn't want her name released.

                          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: March 12, 2018, 5:48 pm - IP Logged

                          That's how it works in SC--name is not given but city the person lives is given.

                          The store that sold the ticket is always given.

                          I wish 100% that it could be that way in California. But no, they want to parade you around like a circus monkey... minus the chain.

                           * Voice of Reason *   

                           

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

                            hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

                            United States
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                            May 21, 2007
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                            Posted: March 12, 2018, 6:02 pm - IP Logged

                            Skeptical should be most curious to see how this pans out in the long run for her

                            but I wish her tons of luck and many years of silent bliss