Anonymity Granted to NH Winner of Powerball Jackpot

Cheryl Sanders
March 13, 2018

The Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 17 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets since joining the game in 2002 and two jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket since joining the game in 2010.

The New Hampshire woman who recently won a $560 million Powerball jackpot on Monday prevailed in her legal fight to keep her name out of the press, but the Fourth Estate could soon be descending on her hometown.

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

In a 15-page decision, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles S. Temple ruled that the identity of the woman, dubbed Jane Doe in court papers, will remain off-limits to the prying eyes of reporters who file public records requests, but her city or town of residence will be disclosed.

Doe, Temple noted, had "met her burden of showing that her privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of her name".


A lawyer representing the woman says she was "jumping up and down" after learning of the judge's ruling in her favor.

The judge wrote that he had "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".

The woman's attorney, William Shaheen, said the woman is from Merrimack, 25 miles south of the state capital, Concord.

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. Following instructions from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission's website, Doe signed the back of her ticket with her name, phone number and address.

The judge ruled the New Hampshire Lottery Commission can not release the woman's name or address.


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.

Just last week, the commission distributed to the winner's attorneys the $264 million sum, which includes taxes that were deducted.

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that the commission was "expecting a different outcome", and that it will discuss "appropriate next steps" with the New Hampshire attorney general's office.

Doe has pledged to donate around $25 million to $50 million of the largess to charity over time.


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