Can You Win the Lottery Anonymously? | theLotter
 
 
 

Can You Win the Lottery Anonymously?

Imagine winning a huge lottery jackpot! Overnight you will achieve a celebrity status that might not be in your best interest. Do you have to go public? Can you remain anonymous if you win the lottery?

It should be noted right from the start that some lotteries require jackpot winners to claim their prize publicly in accordance with the laws of the country or state where the tickets were purchased. Other lotteries, however, allow jackpot winners to claim their prize anonymously.

win the lottery anonymously

Why is information about winners made public?

Many lotteries require that basic information about winners be released to the public, including name, city, and the amount won for all prizes, not only the jackpots. Why is this so? The lotteries are striving for transparency in their operations. They want the public to know that ordinary people can, and do, win lottery prizes, even incredible jackpot prizes worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Publishing the names of prize winners increases the public's trust in the fairness of lottery draws.

Stories of ordinary people winning jackpot prizes are hugely beneficial to lotteries. The publicity helps generate interest in the lottery and boosts ticket sales.

Are there lotteries where you can win anonymously?

Yes, of course there are! More than 35 lotteries available on theLotter allow jackpot winners to claim their prize anonymously. Among them are EuroJackpot, EuroMillions, SuperEnalotto, and La Primitiva. A full list of these lotteries can be found here.


Can you keep your lottery win a secret?

In January 2016, at the time of the record $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot, a number of opinion polls asked the public what they would do if they won such a huge amount of money. Many responded by saying, "Keep it a secret."

Keeping a jackpot win a secret is only possible in a few American states: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina. Georgia is in the process of enacting a similar law as well. The other states where Powerball tickets are sold, as well as in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, require lottery winners to come forward publicly.

How do winners remain anonymous?

The winning ticket of a $487 million US Powerball jackpot in July 2016 was purchased in New Hampshire. According to lottery officials, the winner, who chose to remain anonymous, claimed the $487 million prize through the Robin Egg 2016 Nominee Trust facilitated by a local law firm.

"While we certainly wish we could have met our Powerball winners in person, we appreciate and respect that they have chosen to try to live as normal a life as possible," stated Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

"There are strategies and legal entities you can create that will help you remain more private if you win the lottery," says Robert Pagliarini, author of The Sudden Wealth Solution: 12 Principles to Transform Sudden Wealth into Lasting Wealth. One of them is called a "blind trust." In such a case, "blind" refers to the public which is unable to see the identity of the winner of a lottery prize. As these issues are quite complicated, it would be wise to consult a lawyer to review your legal options before you claim a huge jackpot prize.

if I win the lottery do I need to go public

Why did a jackpot winner give up her anonymity?

When Mavis Wanczyk won a $758.7 million Powerball jackpot in August 2017, she surprised everyone by staging a press conference just one day after the draw. “I just wanted to do this, I wanted to just get it over, done with and then everybody will just leave me alone,” the 53-year-old New Hampshire resident explained.

Many people thought Wanczyk made a serious mistake when she decided to public. "She's going to be hit up for investment opportunities, charity requests, even people she knows are going to come to her," attorney Jason Kurland said, quoted in the media.

In the days after the win, police boosted patrols around Wanczyk's residence and also warned the public of social media scams. If Wanczyk had claimed her jackpot prize anonymously through a legal entity such as a LLC (limited liability company) or a trust, she probably would have avoided any potential dangers to her privacy.


Court rules jackpot winner can remain anonymous

When a New Hampshire woman was the sole winner of a $560 million Powerball jackpot in January 2018, she quickly signed the back of her winning ticket. Little did she know that state law required her identity to be made public. If the jackpot winner had known, she would have signed the ticket with the name of a legal trust, thereby ensuring her anonymity.

The woman filed a lawsuit asking to retain her privacy. Her request stated: “She is a long-time resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member. She wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”

In March 2018, a New Hampshire judge ruled that the winner would be able to receive her prize money while keeping her name withheld from the public. The judge stated that if the winner's "identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and unwanted communications."

The winner, the judge ruled, "had met her burden of showing that her privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of her name."

It is likely that this ruling be used as a precedent in the future regarding the privacy rights of lottery jackpot winners.

The benefits of going public after a lottery win

Lottery winners have said that it is nearly impossible to keep their lottery wins a secret.

"We would have preferred to stay anonymous, but we recognised it wasn't a possibility," said Christine Weir, who along with her husband won a £161million EuroMillions jackpot in July 2011. "We wouldn't have been able to enjoy the experience if we had constructed lies to tell our nearest and dearest," she said, quoted in The Independent.

Another British lottery winner - Julie Jeffrey who won £1 million in 2002 - told Yahoo! News that she "went public for the same reason the majority of people do - there is nowhere to hide."

Winning the lottery anonymously at theLotter

At theLotter we highly respect the privacy of our players. We would never use a player's full name and/or image in our promotions and website unless permission has been granted. That said, our lottery winners are subject to the rules and regulations of the countries/states where their winning tickets were purchased.

An interesting exception was made when our player from Baghdad won the $6.4 million Oregon Megabucks jackpot in August 2015. The Oregon Lottery allowed the Iraqi man to claim his prize anonymously due to safety and security concerns. In respect for his privacy, theLotter has blurred his image and referred to him only by his initials on our website, as has been the case with other big winners.

keep lottery win secret

Can you win the lottery anonymously?

If you are lucky enough to win the top prize when playing a European lottery, or if you happen to win one of the biggest lottery jackpots in America, you may interested in claiming your prize anonymously. Make sure to get professional legal advice as your advisors will help you safeguard your privacy. Good luck!