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Judge: Powerball Winner Can Stay Anonymous

Judge: Powerball Winner Can Stay Anonymous

The Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 17 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets since joining the game in 2002 and two jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket since joining the game in 2010.

A judge in Concord, New Hampshire, ruled on Monday that the $560 Powerball jackpot victor who sued to keep remain anonymous, despite signing her ticket with her actual name, can keep the riches and her name withheld from the public.

"The Lottery Commission has a right to say the victor came from Merrimack, but everything else she is entitled to a right to privacy", said Attorney William Shaheen, in a statement.

In his order, Judge Charles Temple said the woman - known as "Jane Doe" in her lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission - had proven that her right to privacy outweighed the public's interest in learning her name.

He also ruled in agreement with the woman's lawyers, stating she would "be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and other unwanted communications" were her identity released.

Temple wrote the New Hampshire Lottery Commission "would have permitted the trustee of a trust to fill in the back of the ticket and claim the winning prize had Ms. Doe not already filled in the back of the ticket", according to the resolution.

Doe's lawyer, William Shaheen, revealed she is from the town of Merrimack, 30 miles south of the state capital of Concord.

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The woman who bought the winning ticket in January had gone to court to keep her name from being made public.

"The Commission is enjoined from ever releasing her name or address permanently".

"With another major winter storm in the forecast, personal and public safety are top priorities", said Michael Sweeney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery in a written statement.

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

Last week she received just over $264m - her winnings minus taxes and bearing in mind winners get a smaller amount if they opt for a lump sum payment.

The commission says it will consult with the attorney general's office to determine what to do next regarding the case. As part of their bid to keep her name out of the news, Doe's attorneys created a trust to shield her identity and asked the commission not to identify her.

Doe has pledged to donate around $25 million to $50 million of the largess to charity over time.


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