A New Hampshire woman who won a $559.7 million Powerball jackpot will be allowed to collect her winnings—sort of—without publicizing he name—for now.
The lucky lottery player scored big in January of this year, scoring the eighth-largest prize pool in the nation’s history, Fox News reported.
The problem is, she doesn’t want to see her face spread across every newspaper, phone, and TV screen. She doesn’t want to hear people whisper when she goes shopping. She doesn’t want every charity, real or phony, calling her house and flooding her inbox with requests for aid.
She wants to live a normal life, just with a bigger bank account.
Unfortunately, part of the contract she signed when she filled out her winning ticket, prior to collecting, includes helping the state publicize the lottery—and nothing boosts lottery sales like seeing a woman winning half a billion dollars.
The winner hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit saying, essentially, that revealing her name would ruin her life.
“She is a longtime resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member,” her suit reads, as reported by New Hampshire Public Radio.
“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.”
As an alternative, the lady, who filed as “Jane Doe,” created a trust, which could accept and manage the money without Mrs. Doe having any obvious connection.
In response, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office stated that publishing the winner’s name “is not something done for the sake of curiosity or sales promotion,” NHPR reported. “[The winner’s] desire for normalcy and anonymity is substantially outweighed by the public’s right to transparency in the operation of lottery games.”
In any case, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission agreed on Feb. 15 to transfer Jane Doe’s winnings to the trust account, pending the court’s final ruling. This means the winner collects the daily interest, about $14,000, her attorney told Fox News.
Whether or not the judge rules in favor of Jane Doe, she will get a one-time payout of $352 million—$268 million after taxes, Fox reports.
Not Just Publicity
Jane Doe might be worried about being recognized on the street, but Fox News reports that previous winners of big jackpots have run into fatal difficulties.
A man from Georgia who won more the $43,000 in 2016 was killed in his home by several masked gunmen. He pleaded for his life, to no avail.
In 2012, A man from Chicago was fatally poisoned with cyanide the day after willing a million-dollar jackpot. Police suspected family members, but no one was ever charged.
An Illinois man claimed a $20 million prize in 2005, only to be murdered by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend.