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Victor of $560M Powerball jackpot can stay anonymous, U.S. state judge rules

13 March 2018

Cashiers Kathy Robinson, left, and Ethel Kroska, right, both of Merrimack, N.H., sell a lottery ticket at Reeds Ferry Market convenience store in Merrimack on January 7, 2018. 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 to commission to not identify her.

The mysterious victor of a $560 million lottery ticket who fought to keep her identity a secret is allowed to stay anonymous, a judge ruled on Monday.

The lawsuit challenges the New Hampshire Lottery's rule that she must identify herself in order to collect her money.

New Hampshire lottery rules have required the winner's name, town and amount won be available for public information, in accordance with open-records laws and to increase trust in the lottery system.

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According to Doe's civil complaint, she visited the commission's website after learning she won and followed the agency's instructions for redeeming her prize, signing the back of the ticket and printing her address and phone number.

The court found that "disclosure of Ms. Doe's name would constitute [an] invasion of privacy", and moved to block her name from being disclosed in any right-to-know request.

"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.

The judge dismissed the state's argument that disclosing her name would show the public that the lottery system is above board. "She will be able to live her life normally".

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"We remind players to always play responsibly, regardless of jackpot levels", said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. Attorneys for the victor have said she plans to donate between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime, beginning with donations of $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.

She had already received her after-tax winnings of US$264 million while the judge mulled her claim to privacy.

Her lawyers said she intends to donate between $25m and $50m to charities during her lifetime.

The commission says it will consult with the attorney general's office to determine what to do next regarding the case.

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Victor of $560M Powerball jackpot can stay anonymous, U.S. state judge rules