Should lottery winners have the right to remain anonymous?

I can understand why she wants to. But the law is not on her side.

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.

Comments
No. 1-9
joseph23006
joseph23006

This is not a secret drawing, buying a ticket puts you out into the public eye. For the winner to remain secret would throw a shadow over the process and suspicion that something is not right.

YJ77
YJ77

The Lotteries are purely a system of voluntary taxation. In fact, they really are a way to extract revenue from many people who otherwise pay little in taxes other than sales & use taxes.

Kansasgirl444
Kansasgirl444

I, too, would want to be anonymous. But as to ruining my life. Nah, I don't think so. People who know how to manage their money will be fine. Those who don't, will end up broke again. And, it's not a tax for stupid people, as playing is totally voluntary. I've never met a tax yet that I had the choice of paying!

MarkBerwind
MarkBerwind

She fell into this trap, all due to ignorance. I don't know anything about this woman, but she could have sought the attorney out, first, and had the winnings claimed by a trust. I can't fault her, but she now has to play buy her mistake. Sad situation.

etbass
etbass

It's not like she can't afford it.

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