'I won $560m, but I don't want anyone to know'
A US lottery winner goes to court to hide her identity
A woman from New Hampshire, US, is taking legal action against the state to prevent her identity becoming public after winning $560-million in the lottery.
The woman, named as Jane Doe in court filings, bought the winning ticket in the town of Merrimack on January 6.
The owner of the convenience store in the historic riverside town, 5km north-west of Boston and with a population of 25,000, was so proud of selling the ticket — and his $75,000 bonus for doing so — that he made national headlines.“Can you believe someone just walked into my store and won?” said Sam Safa, as the mystery over the winner grew. “Most of my customers are local, and I’m hoping it’s someone local. But whoever it is, congratulations to them.”
The winner was indeed a local woman. And last week she went to court to try to prevent her identity being made public.
“She is a longtime resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member,” Steven Gordon, her lawyer, wrote in the court documents.
“She wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”
Lottery officials insist that the law is clear, and that the integrity of the game depends on identification of the winners.Rules are rules
New Hampshire lottery rules require the winner’s name, town and amount won be made public, in accordance with open-records laws.Charlie McIntyre, executive director for the New Hampshire lottery, said the commission consulted with the state’s attorney-general’s office and that the Powerball winner must abide by the disclosure laws “like any other”.
Gordon and his team are hoping that the courts will take into account the myriad examples of lottery winners being conned or physically endangered. They even claim that the state’s opioid crisis proves that New Hampshire, “despite its bucolic beauty ... is not immune to crime”.
— © The Daily Telegraph
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