A New Hampshire woman who won the state lottery has filed a suit against the state to stay anonymous. The $560 million lotto jackpot winner who filed the suit under the pseudonym ‘Jane Doe’ says she doesn’t want her identity to be broadcast around the world after just winning half a billion dollars.
New Hampshire state lottery winners are required to make their name, town, and amount won available for the public record. Steven Gordon, the woman’s attorney, wrote in 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” for winning the lottery.
However, the New Hampshire state lottery makes clear that its protocols are put in place for a reason. In an official statement, the New Hampshire Lottery wrote: “the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players, and our games.”
One solution for the lotto jackpot winner would have been for her to contact an attorney and set up an anonymous trust. However, she already signed the back of her ticket. According to lottery rules, any alteration to the signature, even made by the lotto jackpot winner in front of lottery officials, would invalidate the ticket.
New Hampshire is one of the only states that allows the practice of collecting lottery winnings through an anonymous trust. In 2016, a family won nearly half a million dollars in the lottery. They were never named as they set up a trust through a lawyer and had the law firm collect the winnings before transferring the money to them.
The anonymous woman’s concern is not without precedence. The so-called “lottery curse” has taken its toll on other people throughout the United States. Abraham Shakespeare, a lotto jackpot winner who received $30 million in 2006, was conned out of almost all of his money by Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, who eventually also murdered him.
Similarly, Craigory Birch, Jr. won $434,372 in Georgia in 2015. After being identified to the public, seven masked men broke into Birch’s home and killed him. Jasmine Hendricks, Birch’s girlfriend, said he told the men “Don’t do it in front of my kids. Please don’t do it in front of my kids and old lady.”
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