Judge rules Jackpot victor can remain anonymous

Powerball lottery jackpots sometimes range into the hundreds of millions of dollars with the largest ever topping out at $1.6 billion US

A lawyer representing a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million says the victor was "jumping up and down" after learning a judge ruled she can keep her identity private.

Last month a judge ruled that she could start collecting the money she won in the jackpot.

Shaheen's law firm, Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., said the woman made a "huge mistake" signing her real name on the back of the ticket before contacting them or placing the money in a trust fund that would have allowed her to stay anonymous.

Doe requested in the lawsuit that the state withhold her name from public disclosure or replace her identifying information with that of a trust she created. The Attorney General's Office didn't immediately return a call to see if it will appeal the judge's ruling. Furthermore, he said that given the structure of the Powerball lottery game, the chance of any corruption or error attributable to the Commission is extremely low.

"The court has no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications", Temple wrote.

"While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court's decision", Charlie McIntyre, commission executive director, said in a statement.

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Jane Doe bought the winning ticket January 6 at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack.

Temple, who already agreed to let Doe collect her winnings through the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018 several weeks earlier, refused meanwhile to let Doe keep her hometown a secret.

Her lawyers sued the Lottery Commission, attempting to keep her identity private, in part, because they say her safety would be in jeopardy.

"The Lottery Commission has a right to say the victor came from Merrimack, but everything else she is entitled to a right to privacy".

She had already received her after-tax winnings of US$264 million while the judge mulled her claim to privacy.

The woman who was described as an "engaged community member" plans to donate $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 each to three New Hampshire chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger. It is the first of what her lawyers said would be donations over the years of between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime.

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