Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Kathy McCormack/AP
March 13, 2018
Cashiers Kathy Robinson, left, and Ethel Kroska, right, both of Merrimack, N.H., sell a lottery ticket, to Diane Ackley, hand only below, at Reeds Ferry Market convenience store, in Merrimack.
Cashiers Kathy Robinson, left, and Ethel Kroska, right, both of Merrimack, N.H., sell a lottery ticket, to Diane Ackley, hand only below, at Reeds Ferry Market convenience store, in Merrimack.
Steven Senne/AP/REX/Shutterstock—Steven Senne/AP/REX/Shutterstock

(CONCORD, N.H.) A judge ruled Monday that a New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

Judge Charles Temple noted that the case’s resolution rested the state’s Right-to-Know law, which governs access to public records for the woman. She was identified as “Jane Doe” in a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

“She was jumping up and down,” said her lawyer, William Shaheen. “She will be able to live her life normally.”

Shaheen said the woman is from Merrimack, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Concord. The winning ticket was sold at the Reeds Ferry Market in that town for the Jan. 6 drawing.

Temple wrote he had “no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe’s identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications.” He said she met her burden of showing that her privacy interest outweighs the public’s interest in disclosing her name in the nation’s eighth-largest jackpot.

However, Temple noted that nothing in his order could be interpreted to prevent the lottery commission or its employees from “processing, maintaining, or accessing Ms. Doe’s ticket in the normal course of business.”

The woman signed her ticket after the drawing, but later learned from lawyers that she could have shielded her identity by writing the name of a trust. They said she was upset after learning she was giving up her anonymity by signing the ticket — something the lottery commission acknowledged isn’t spelled out on the ticket, but is detailed on its website. The woman ended up establishing the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.

Temple found that the commission’s argument that revealing her name to ensure the public she’s a “bona fide” lottery participant and “real” winner was not persuasive, because a trustee claiming a prize on someone’s behalf is certainly not a “bona fide” participant or a “real” winner.

“While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the state had a strong argument, we respect the court’s decision,” Charlie McIntyre, commission executive director, said in a statement. “That said, we will consult with the Attorney General’s office to determine appropriate next steps regarding the case.”

Last week, the commission handed over $264 million — the amount left after taxes were deducted — to the woman’s lawyers. They said she would give $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state. It is the first of what her lawyers said would be donations over the years of between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST