Posted: Wednesday, Aug 14,2019 | Time: 11:35 am | Edited by: The Lottery Lab Staff
Winning a lottery is a dream come true but handling that kind of windfall can be a complex task. You become an overnight celebrity but having a celebrity status might not be in your interest. The question is: If you win the lottery do you have to go public? Can you remain anonymous if you win the lottery?
There are some lotteries which allow their jackpot winners to claim their jackpots anonymously while others require winners to go public to claim their winnings. Take the $1.5 billion Mega Million jackpot winner from South Carolina as an example. Nobody knows who won the jackpot and they are leading a normal life.
Most lottery operators ask you to go public because they don’t support the idea of an anonymous claiming policy. They release information like the name of the winner, city, amount of the jackpot won, etc. There are two main reasons for this. One is to maintain the transparency of their operation so that the public can see that ordinary people are winning the jackpots. Publishing the names of the jackpot winners and their life-changing stories increases the public’s trust in the fairness of lottery drawings.
Another reason is that stories of ordinary people winning jackpot prizes can be highly beneficial to lotteries. It helps lotteries to generate more interest and ultimately boosts ticket sales.
In January 2016, when the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot was drawn, a number of opinion polls asked the public what they would do if they won such a huge amount of money, and most them replied with, “keep it a secret.”
There are only a handful of states in America that allow anonymous prize claiming. These are: Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Some of these states only allow people to claim their winnings anonymously if their winnings exceed a certain amount. Others require winners to go public to claim their winnings!
"There are strategies and legal entities you can create that will help you remain more private if you win the lottery," quoted by Robert Pagliarini, author of The Sudden Wealth Solution: 12 Principles to Transform Sudden Wealth Into Lasting Wealth. Winners may be allowed to set up a “blind trust”, in which blind means that the public can’t see the identity of the trust owner. But this can be tricky and it is wise to consult a lawyer to review your legal options before delving into such matters. For example, a New Hampshire winner of a $560 million jackpot didn’t know that she could claim her winnings anonymously under the name of a trust and signed her winning ticket. But the twist was that once the ticket is signed with your name, you can’t claim it under the name of a trust. She almost lost her winnings but...
“Court rules jackpot winner can remain anonymous”
She filed a lawsuit asking to retain her privacy and her request stated: “She is a long-time resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member. 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.” In March 2018, the judge ruled in her favor saying, she "had met her burden of showing that her privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of her name."
If you are lucky enough to hit the first prize in Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, or Virginia, you certainly can claim your winnings anonymously. But if you do not live in any of the aforementioned states, you can make a run to your nearby state that allows anonymous jackpot claiming to purchase lottery tickets. There are dozens of states that allow jackpot claiming under the name of a blind trust. For this, it is recommended to appoint a lawyer so that you get your legal options clear. Good luck!