Lottery Winners Wonder: How to Remain Anonymous after a Big Win?
The lottery world is frequently buzzing with news about big lottery winners, but those who are fortunate enough to claim the wins often find themselves desperately trying to just keep it quiet. Out of the three recent Mega Millions record breaking $656 million winners, only the Illinois couple was obligated by state law to come forward, raising questions about the value of remaining faceless in the wake of a lottery windfall.
Why Stay Anonymous?
While winners’ reasons to stay anonymous vary, the predominant motives stay the same: the more people who know the more people who might bother you. Winners are frequently bombarded not just by family members and friends, but by a wide variety of people looking for investors, loans or to take advantage of good-hearted winners.
Why Don’t The Lotteries Want You To Stay Anonymous?
The best advertising any lottery name can ask for the publicity of its big winners. By showing the happy faces of new millionaires receiving giant checks, lotteries are able to instill that image alongside their brand in the minds of lotto players who want to be sure there is a reliable organization behind every ticket purchase. Some winners enjoy it and figure, ‘why not enjoy the fame while it lasts?’ Others value their privacy and want to keep the knowledge of their new- found wealth kept to a minimum.
While some governmental bodies have claimed that releasing the winners name is to ensure all debtors and possible defrauded individuals will have the chance to claim what is rightfully theirs, not all states require lottery winners to come forward such as the US states Kansas, Maryland, Delaware, Michigan, North Dakota and Ohio.
Can You Stay Anonymous?
While not all lotteries offer players the option of staying anonymous, there are some steps winners can take to retain as much privacy as possible.
1. Sign the back of the ticket and put it in a bank safety deposit box. Do not tell anyone of your win.
2. Contact a financial attorney and set up a meeting. Most likely, you and your attorney will set up a ‘trust’ with a well-established bank.
3. Consider waiting to claim the win. Once the news hype has died down, and as long as you are still within the legally allotted time frame to claim your win, you will be less news worthy.
4. Once the trust is set up, the lawyer will allow the banks officers to present the safely kept ticket on your behalf anonymously. If the lotteries insist on publicizing your identity, your lawyer can work with you on trying to find legal grounds for staying anonymous.
Not all lottery winners are this lucky, but by carefully planning a lottery win, players can ensure that they enjoy the big prize in peace!