Who is it?
Thats the $85.5 million question.
New Hampshire still waits for the winner of Wednesdays Powerball lottery jackpot to enter the spotlight. Some wondered if he or she ever would. Portsmouth attorney Sally Mulhern, of Mulhern & Scott, represented one lottery winner who remained anonymous - even to his parents.
"I couldnt believe his parents didnt know," Mulhern said in a telephone interview Friday.
"He had had a bad day and his wife asked him, what can I do to make you feel better. He said, buy me a lottery ticket."
She did. And he won.
The client retained Mulhern after he claimed his prize. Big lottery winners are often advised to assemble a team of experts, including an attorney and financial adviser, before they pick up the grand prize.
Mulhern has represented five lottery winners in New Hampshire, and only the one man has managed to keep his identity under wraps and his relationships intact, she said.
She and others were not certain if a lottery commission would be required to release the name of a winner, but added there may be ways to keep a low profile, if thats what one wants to do.
One way is through the attorney/client privilege relationship. A clients attorney is not allowed to discuss personal business, and if that attorney then hired the financial adviser, insurance person, and so on, they would also be bound by the attorney/client privilege cloak, she said.
"That type of relationship is used more than people anticipate," she added.
Portsmouth attorney John Lyons indicated lottery winners have a litany of issues to contend with and decisions to make. Again, consult the professionals.
"The first thing a lottery winner should do is get financial and legal advice so they can protect themselves and maximize the return on their winnings," he said.
Any buzz on the identity of the winner in the legal community?
Not a whisper.
"While were all proud to be lawyers, we are all jealous and wish we were the winner," Lyons said of the only buzz in town.
Some common characteristics of lottery winners is the sense that they must change their lives and often those changes are materialistic.
"Peoples values change or they feel they have to change," Mulhern said. "They have to be involved with different toys. As a result, fundamentals, starting with your marriage, may fall apart."
Assembling a team of professionals is a challenge to most people who have never needed advice on handling new fortunes.
"I think it can be a little intimidating, but a good team will be able to identify the issues, make recommendations, and actually take a lot of stress off the winners shoulders," she said.