B.C. Lottery Corp. Grants Winner of $30 Million Jackpot Rare Anonymity
COQUITLAM, B.C.—Someone in British Columbia who had the exceedingly rare luck of winning the lottery has also been granted the rare privilege of anonymity due to what the lottery administrator is calling “extraordinary circumstances.”
The winner of the $30-million jackpot—the largest single ticket Lotto 6-49 win in the province’s history—will keep his or her identity secret contrary to prize conditions after an extensive review, the B.C. Lottery Corp. said Thursday.
“I can’t really speak to the specifics of any anonymous claim, but the circumstances really do need to be extraordinary, they need to be substantiated with evidence that we can verify and that’s capable of being independently confirmed,” spokeswoman Laura Piva-Babcock said.
The single winning ticket was purchased at a grocery store in Coquitlam on April 25, the corporation said.
One of the conditions for claiming a prize requires the winner to allow the lottery corporation to publish his or her name, photo, place of residence, and prize.
Piva-Babcock characterized the condition as an accountability measure.
“For everyone who wins a jackpot, there are 10 million other people who purchased a ticket and they want to know that someone indeed has won,” she said.
In this case, the corporation says the winner requested anonymity based on circumstances that it investigated and verified with the help of independent, third-party sources.
This is the fourth case where anonymity has been granted to a lottery winner in B.C. in the past three years, however, the other jackpots were less than $100,000, Piva-Babcock said.
She said the lottery corporation grants anonymity on a case-by-case basis and that every situation is unique. As an example, Piva-Babcock said the corporation would consider granting anonymity in cases where there is a serious concern for the winner’s safety.
In 2015, Friedrich Mayrhofer, who described himself and his family as shy and private, hired a lawyer to try to claim the family’s $50-million prize on behalf of a trust in order to remain anonymous. The B.C. Lottery Corp. said at the time they determined only a person could make the lottery claim.
In March of this year, a U.S. judge ruled that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $560 million could keep her identity private, but not her hometown.
The woman had signed her ticket after the draw, but later learned from a lawyer that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust.
Judge Charles Temple wrote in his decision that the woman met her burden of showing that her privacy interest outweighed the public’s interest in disclosing her name, noting that she would be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications.