The New Hampshire lottery winner who took the state lottery to court to protect her privacy has been victorious in her court case. Known only as Jane Doe, she won the New Hampshire lottery jackpot in early January, winning $560 million. However, state law required her identity be revealed to the public, something she was not happy about.
New Hampshire Lottery Winner Wishes to Remain Anonymous
When Jane Doe won the lottery jackpot, which is the eighth largest in US history, she signed the back of her lottery ticket. She believed she was required to do so to claim her money. However, after speaking to a lawyer, she discovered that she could have put a nominated trust on the ticket. This would have allowed the trust to claim the prize, while protecting her identity.
Because she had signed, state law required her name, hometown and the size of her prize to become public knowledge. However, Jane Doe was not willing to accept this and launched a legal case against the state. She claimed that disclosing her identity would constitute an invasion of privacy. She also claimed that doing so would be a safety risk. Previous big jackpot winners have been stalked, threated with violence, harassed, and people have tried to scam them.
Jane Doe Donating to Several Charities
The court case was heard in the New Hampshire Superior Court, where Judge Charles Temple ruled in her favour. Thanks to his ruling, Jane Doe will remain anonymous and keep her winnings. The judge determined that she had met her burden of proof and clearly demonstrated how revealing her identity would have a serious negative impact on her life. The state lottery was surprised by the court’s ruling but will respect it for now. They have said they will speak with the Attorney General to determine how to proceed.
Jane Doe elected to take the full sum of money, instead of the instalments. This means, after tax, she is $358 million richer. She is already putting the money to good use and has donated significant sums to various charities. These include Girls Inc, who empower women, as well as charities that help underprivileged school children.