Privacy Law

Woman who won $560M Powerball jackpot sues for anonymity

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A New Hampshire woman who had the winning $560 million Powerball ticket last month has filed a suit seeking to remain anonymous, saying disclosure “would constitute a significant invasion of her privacy.”

The woman filed the Jan. 29 suit as “Jane Doe” against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, report Courthouse News Service, USA Today and the New Hampshire Union Leader.

She has not yet submitted the ticket to the commission. It has to be redeemed within a year.

Jane Doe says she was following the direction of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission when she wrote her name on the back of the ticket. She later hired a lawyer and learned she could have stayed anonymous by creating a trust and signing the ticket in the trust name.

Jane Doe’s lawyer had asked lottery officials if she could “white out” her name and replace it with the trust name, but lottery officials said that would invalidate the ticket.

Though the state’s Right-to-Know law provides for the release of information, it has an exemption for files that would constitute invasion of privacy, according to the suit.

The suit says other lottery winners have faced “violence, threats, scams, harassment and endless solicitations” after their identities are revealed. Two lottery winners were murdered, the suit says.

Charles McIntyre, executive director of the lottery commission, said in a statement that he consulted with the state attorney general, and the lottery had to follow protocols established by state statutes and lottery rules.

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