Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Mystery victor of $560 million jackpot lives in Merrimack, NH, officials say

Judge Charles Temple listens to attorney Steven M. Gordon who represents lottery winner Judge rules $560M Powerball jackpot winner can remain anonymous
Jordan Brady | 14 March, 2018, 00:51

The woman who won $560 million Powerball jackpot in New Hampshire two months ago can keep her identity private but not her hometown, a judge has ruled.

Her lawyer says that a state superior court judge in New Hampshire ruled in her favor Monday.

As part of their bid to keep her name out of the news, Doe's attorneys created a trust to shield her identity and asked the commission not to identify her.

Temple allowed the woman to maintain her anonymity through the monicker "Jane Doe" but ruled that the woman's hometown can still be made public by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

"The Lottery Commission has a right to say the victor came from Merrimack, but everything else she is entitled to a right to privacy", said Attorney William Shaheen, in a statement.

New Hampshire Lottery officials argued the state's right-to-know law allowed them to reveal her name.

However, the commission argued that it was required to disclose her name and hometown as the information was already written on the ticket. "The (New Hampshire Lottery) Commission is hereby permanently enjoined from disclosing Ms. Doe's name pursuant to any future Right-to-Know request, or to any other person or entity unless authorized by law".

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The Lottery's executive director Charlie McIntyre said: "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".

"Although the Commission seemingly contends that these are isolated examples, there is evidence suggesting that Ms. Doe would also be subject to similar unwanted communication", Temple wrote.

A lawsuit filed by the woman's lawyers says she is an "engaged community member" who wants to go about public life "without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".

"She was jumping up and down", Shaheen said of his client's reaction to Temple's ruling.

The highly anticipated ruling capped a legal saga that began January 29, when Doe sued the Lottery Commission for the right to remain nameless when she claimed her windfall. The woman ended up establishing the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.

The judge had already ruled last month that the victor could start collecting funds while remaining anonymous as the issue played out in court.

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