Commission respects ruling on lottery victor ID

Mega Million, Powerball Lottery Jackpots Continue To Grow, Surpass $318M

Mega Million, Powerball Lottery Jackpots Continue To Grow, Surpass $318M

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.

The ruling issued Monday by Judge Charles Temple of New Hampshire Superior Court said disclosing the woman's name would be an invasion of privacy, but that her hometown can be released publicly.

Thus the woman who has been dubbed "Jane Doe" can keep the pseudonym, at least for now.

Mega Million, Powerball Lottery Jackpots Continue To Grow, Surpass $318M
US judge rules lottery winner of US$560m can remain undisclosed

Billy Shaheen, a lawyer for the New Hampshire victor, who was described in court papers only as Jane Doe, said that his client was elated to hear the news.

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".

"Given that any female person in Ms. Doe's hometown could potentially be the victor, it is highly unlikely that Ms. Doe could be identified as the victor based exclusively on the disclosure of that limited piece of information", he said.

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Shaheen collected her $352 million check last week while continuing the legal battle to keep her identity secret. The winning ticket was sold at the Reeds Ferry Market in that town for the January 6 drawing. They argued that the public needs to know the name of lottery winners because it shows that "the games played are on the level and that the winners are bonafide lottery participants".

Doe put her name and address on the winning ticket for the Jan 6. draw, but before she sent it to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, she turned to attorneys to see if she could remain anonymous.

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.

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Temple found there was "no evidence" the New Hampshire State Lottery Commission was engaged in fraudulent activity, noting the drawing takes place in Florida.

In a brief statement Monday, Charlie McIntyre, the New Hampshire Lottery's executive director, said the ruling surprised his agency. 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.

As for the ticket, Doe's attorneys lobbied the judge to grant her a do-over.

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She had already received her after-tax winnings of US$264 million while the judge mulled her claim to privacy. As a result, he said, the commission's argument that there is a "strong public interest in disclosing the identity" of the winners "is simply not persuasive".

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