Judge rules $560M Powerball jackpot victor can remain anonymous

Judge Charles Temple listens to attorney Steven M. Gordon who represents lottery winner

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.

She was identified as "Jane Doe" in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

Doe, Temple wrote, has "met her burden" showing her privacy interest outweighs the public's interest in the release of her name.

He also ruled in agreement with the woman's lawyers, stating she would "be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and other unwanted communications" were her identity released.

Temple allowed the woman to maintain her anonymity through the monicker "Jane Doe" but ruled that the woman's hometown can still be made public by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

Temple wrote the New Hampshire Lottery Commission "would have permitted the trustee of a trust to fill in the back of the ticket and claim the winning prize had Ms. Doe not already filled in the back of the ticket", according to the resolution.

The unidentified woman signed her ticket after the January 6 drawing, but later learned from a lawyer that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust.

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A lawsuit filed by the woman's lawyers says she is an "engaged community member" who wants to go about public life "without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".

Attorneys for Doe last week collected the winnings on behalf of her Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust.

He decided that she could keep her identity private but her home town could be revealed - Merrimack, about 25 miles south of Concord.

"We remind players to always play responsibly, regardless of jackpot levels", said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. The state Attorney General's Office said the woman's name must be revealed because she signed the back of the ticket, USA Today reported.

In the resolution, Temple called that argument "weak" because a trustee claiming a prize on behalf of an anonymous individual is certainly not a "bona fide" participant and is not the "real" victor of the prize. The commission hasn't responded to a request for comment on the judge's decision.

The woman is collecting a lump-sum cash prize of $352 million, which will get whittled down to $264 million after taxes. They said she would give $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state.

Her lawyers said she intends to donate between $25m and $50m to charities during her lifetime.

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