I always tell people there's a reason that I don't play the lottery. It's not that I have some moral objection to gambling. It's not that I'm aware of the astronomical odds against winning. It's not that I don't fantasize about instant wealth.
It's that I'm afraid I might win.
There are plenty of stories of lottery winners who end up broke. In recent years, there are even more tragic stories about lottery winners becoming victims of crime. Craigory Burch Jr. was murdered in a home invasion robbery 2 months after winning the Georgia Fantasy 5 drawing. Abraham Shakespeare was murdered by a woman who became his "financial advisor" and stole all of the $30 million he won in 2006. Before his death, he told his brother "I would have been better off broke."
So, you can certainly sympathize with the woman in New Hampshire who is suing to keep her name private. The "Jane Doe" won the $560 million Powerball lottery, but has delayed collecting her prize because the lottery rules require that her name be released. She is suing for the right to claim the money but still remain anonymous "because such disclosure would constitute a significant invasion of her privacy."
You can't really blame her. She wants to stay in her small hometown and "She wishes...the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars."
But New Hampshire state law and the lottery rules both prohibit withholding the names of lottery winners. Most states have the same rule (only 5 states - Maryland, Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina - allow winners to stay anonymous.) The two many reasons for this are that the lottery uses winning announcements as publicity and to encourage future participants, and of course there would be a lot of conspiracy theorists out there claiming that the system was "rigged" if the actual names of the winners were withheld.
Well, it's like they say: you pays your money and you takes your chances. One popular lottery slogan is "You can't win if you don't play.
Then again, you can't lose either.