Winning a lottery jackpot can be very exciting and threatening at the same time. This truly happens to a Powerball jackpot winner from New Hampshire who recently won $560 million Powerball jackpot. Even though she hasn’t claimed the prize yet, she’s already being targeted by many people.
To protect her privacy, the winner has submitted an appeal to a local court to remain anonymous. The decision will later rule whether she can claim the prize without her name being made public. She took this action after local officials said she wouldn’t be allowed to claim the prize if she refuses the term. The officials said that making her name public will help them to prevent corruption. Everyone will know where the money goes and nothing is hidden from the public.
As good as it might sound, we do understand the stresses this Jane Doe experiences. Nothing is going to be the same when there are so many people hunting and targeting you just because you won the lottery.
It is crucial for the court to judge her liable to remain anonymous in order to protect her. At least, the court should allow a trust to claim the prize on her behalf. The latter would help in the very least her name to remain a secret.
Handing the claiming process to a trust is a good idea because she doesn’t have to appear in public. However, the lottery commission will likely oppose this idea because she has signed the ticket. They told the media that using a trust to claim the prize can no longer be used because she has signed the ticket.
This is interesting, though. There is no explanation about the risk or what would happen if you sign the ticket once you have won the jackpot. The only information regarding it is signing the ticket would help you to claim the prize even if the ticket is lost. With only that information in hand, who could have possibly know that by signing the ticket, we have also eliminated our chance to remain anonymous?
Is it a trap? For us, we believe so. The lottery committee should be responsible for providing this lack of information. Instead of accusing the victim, they should help her to make the best decision. At least, in the future they should proclaim to the public the ‘side effect’ of signing your ticket.
What about removing her name from the ticket?
That won’t do much. Regarding this idea, the lottery committee told the media that doing this will only make the ticket void.
Another alternative, as suggested by Ms. Doe’s lawyers, is by making a copy of the original winning ticket and replacing the name on the copy with the name of the chosen trust. While it sounds uncommon, rumors said that both sides are close to agreement about how they can keep Ms. Doe anonymous.
We do hope that the final decision should not put Ms. Doe as a victim. Her winning should bring her joy, not threats.