Victor of $560M Powerball jackpot can stay anonymous, U.S. state judge rules


The woman who won $560 million Powerball jackpot in New Hampshire two months ago can keep her identity private but not her hometown, a judge has ruled.

The ruling issued Monday by Judge Charles Temple of New Hampshire Superior Court said disclosing the woman's name would be an invasion of privacy, but that her hometown can be released publicly.

"Nothing in this order, however, shall be construed to prevent the Commission or its employees from processing, maintaining or accessing Ms. Doe's ticket in the normal course of business", Temple wrote. The winning ticket in the January 6 market was sold at the Reeds Ferry Market in that town.

New Hampshire lottery rules have required the winner's name, town and amount won be available for public information, in accordance with open-records laws and to increase trust in the lottery system.

The court says the state will only identify the new millionaire's hometown.

Her attorneys released a statement on Monday saying the victor lives in Merrimack.

"As in most states, Pennsylvania Lottery winners can not remain anonymous and certain victor information is made public under the state's Open Records law". The Commission is enjoined from ever releasing her name or address permanently.

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"She was jumping up and down", Shaheen said of his client's reaction to Temple's ruling. "She will be able to live her life normally".

Attorneys for Doe last week collected the winnings on behalf of her Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust. Attorneys for the victor have said she plans to donate between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime, beginning with donations of $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.

"Given that any female person in Ms. Doe's hometown could potentially be the victor, it is highly unlikely that Ms. Doe could be identified as the victor based exclusively on the disclosure of that limited piece of information", he said.

He ruled that disclosing the name of the victor "would constitute an invasion of privacy" under state law, and that it therefore qualifies as an exemption from the state's right-to-know law, according to The Union Leader.

The woman argued that if her name was made public she could be the victim of violence, harassment, and threats.

"Although the Commission dismissed this harassment as trivial and or speculative, for the court to do so would require it to ignore the significant media attention this case has received, the numerous documents of bad experiences of other lottery winners, as well as the bevy of unsolicited emails, phone calls and in-person visits already directed at Ms. Doe through her attorneys", he wrote.

Still, Temple ruled that the victor has no privacy interest in keeping the community wherein she resides secret, which the judge ruled could be disclosed pursuant to a Right-to-Know request. In 2016, a New Hampshire player won a $487 million winning Powerball ticket purchased at the Hannaford Supermarket in Raymond.