Judge to hear case of Powerball victor who wants anonymity

How much is your privacy worth? A lot, if you've won $560 million

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission wants to dismiss a request to remain anonymous from the woman won the Powerball jackpot of $560 million in January.

The woman's lawyer has filed a case requesting to keep her anonymous.

According to The Union Leader, the victor - known as Jane Doe in court documents - isn't asking the judge to overturn state law that requires winners of jackpots to make their name public, instead they're hoping for an exemption in this case and allow her to establish a trust before claiming the prize. Her attorneys say the victor was not aware she could have had a trust sign the ticket for her, and she signed it herself before realizing that.

Doe's complaint says she visited the commission's website last month when she realized she had won and followed the agency's instructions for redeeming her prize, signing the back of her Powerball ticket and printing her address and phone number.

The woman's - identified only as Jane Doe - experience illuminates the dark side of state-run lotteries: the dregs that are stirred up by the splashy marketing of happy winners by the lottery.

"We come to the court today in a Catch 22, not of our own making", said attorney Steven Gordon, representing the victor.

"We have a substantial public interest in disclosure of those public documents", he said, adding Doe is asking for a substantial extension of privacy protection under the state's Right-to-Know law.

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Release of the names provides transparency and assures the public that winners aren't associated with the lottery, the office said. New Hampshire is among a handful of states where anonymity can be protected with a bit of legal wrangling.

Her lawyers indicated a trust has been set up.

A woman who says she's now a millionaire will fight to keep her anonymity Tuesday in a court in New Hampshire. Any adjustment to the ticket purchased at Reed's Ferry Market in Merrimack would invalidate it, the lottery commission claims. [Doe's] life will be altered whether her name is released or not. If lawmakers can't help her, they might at least help future winners.

Conforti said the ticket is a public document, and the commission believes that it is best to be transparent with the lottery process so that the public can see that winners are not connected to the lottery or the state, or that winners are not in clusters or related. Charles R. McIntyre, executive director of the state lottery, who called the winning ticket "the most valuable piece of paper on the planet, more valuable than a Rembrandt", said it would take some time "to get that much cash in the state".

Gordon told the court that this is an extraordinary case, and her interests trump the public's right to know.

"The opportunity for life altering money is the essence of a large jackpot lottery such as Powerball".

Her lawyers suggested that the victor be allowed to white out her name and replace it with the name of her trust.

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