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$560m lottery winner can remain anonymous

A woman who won nearly $560m (£403m) in a Powerball jackpot has been allowed to remain anonymous.

The woman, from New Hampshire, had signed her ticket after winning the lottery on 6 January but was later told by lawyers that she could have kept her identity hidden by writing the name of a trust instead.

This option was detailed on the lottery's website but not on the tickets and New Hampshire's lottery rules require the winner's name, town and the winning amount to be public.

So the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, took the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to court.

Judge Charles Temple had to consider the state's Right To Know law and the woman's right to "live her life normally".

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

Judge Temple said in his ruling that he had "no doubts whatsoever that should (Jane) Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications".

He added that she had proved her privacy outweighed the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

The judge also rejected the lottery commission's argument that the woman's name should be revealed to assure the public she was a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" winner.

The woman's lawyer William Shaheen said his client "was jumping up and down", following the ruling.

"She will be able to live her life normally," he added.

She has since set up the Good Karma Trust of 2018 and intends to give some of her money to charities, including Girls Inc and End 68 Hours of Hunger.

Last week she received just over $264m – her winnings minus taxes and bearing in mind winners get a smaller amount if they opt for a lump sum payment.

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

More from New Hampshire

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

"That said, we will consult with the Attorney General's office to determine appropriate next steps regarding the case."

Original Article

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