$560M Lottery Winner Made a 'Huge Mistake'

$560m Powerball winner is a NH woman - and she's fighting in court to stay anonymous

A U.S. woman who won $712 million in the local lottery has found herself embroiled in a legal battle to keep her identity under wraps.

However, she also wants "the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars". And last week she went to court to try and prevent her identity being made public.

"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", attorney Steven Gordon wrote, according to the records.

Doe, in her lawsuit, says that she followed directions from the state commission and signed her name on the back of the winning ticket as well as her address and phone number.

Maura McCann, a spokeswoman with the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, tells NPR that the state's Right to Know law allows them to reveal the identity of the person whose name is written on the ticket.

New Hampshire is one of a handful of states that permit lottery winners to form anonymous trusts to shield their newfound riches.

$560m Powerball winner is a NH woman - and she's fighting in court to stay anonymous
$770m New Hampshire lottery winner goes to court to stay anonymous, keep money

Her attorney said she deeply values her privacy and announcing her name could lead to safety issues.

She wishes to remain anonymous - but she has already put her name on the back of her ticket, meaning she can't use a trust to hide her identity.

Gordon wrote in the filing that Doe expects the commission to ask her to appear at a public event when she accepts the prize, "complete with oversized check". The Associated Press reports the woman however contacted a lawyer who said she could avoid the law by claiming the prize as a trust. And the woman, identified for now as Jane Doe, wants a court order to allow her to collect her winnings anonymously.

Lottery officials consulted with state lawyers and said they must process the winning ticket "like any other", he said.

The victor has not turned in her ticket yet, but showed lottery officials a photocopy of the front to support her claim for the country's eight-largest lottery jackpot.

Currently, only six states allow lottery victor to remain anonymous - Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and SC.

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