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American woman refuses to be named after winning $712 million
07 February 2018, 01:07 | Max Haynes
A woman is being denied a lottery win for not giving her name. File pic. Source Getty Images
A woman from New Hampshire is taking legal action against the state to prevent her identity becoming public after winning $560 million (£404m) in the lottery. The state allows people to form an anonymous trust, but it's a moot point for the woman as she'd already signed her name and altering the signature would nullify the ticket. After speaking to attorneys, she learned had a trustee signed the name instead, she could remain anonymous.
However, she also wants "the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".
However, under New Hampshire rules, her name must be made public in order to claim the prize. She says she was simply following the directions on the ticket and on the state lottery site. The state is holding its ground.
"Her attorney asked if she could "white out" her name in front of lottery officials and replace it with the trust, but was told any adjustment would invalidate the ticket and she'd lose $560 million", the newspaper reported.
Currently, only six states allow lottery victor to remain anonymous - Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and SC.
On one side of the case are lottery officials who say the integrity of the games depends on the public identification of its winners as a protection against fraud and malfeasance.
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In the complaint, Gordon argues that privacy is deeply important to the longtime New Hampshire resident, who wants to use the trust to give a portion of her winnings to charity while remaining "a silent witness to these good works", reports The Union Leader.
Jane Doe on January 6 purchased her winning ticket from Reed's Farm in Merrimack, New Hampshire and the winnings were available to her as of January 22. Once claimed, she could take the lump-sum cash option of just under $360 million or an annual payment over 30 years beginning with $8 million and increasing each year.
The female victor is asking to "white out her name, address, phone and signature and replace the information with that of the trust with the original ticket be preserved and sealed, and exempt from disclosure".
Sam Safa, owner of Reeds Ferry Market, said that he wins $75,000 before taxes because he owns the business that sold the winning ticket. But because of lottery rules, everyone has to know her name: her friends, her family, ex-lovers, her mailman and all her enemies.
The complaint filed references an incident in which 2009 Florida lottery victor, Abraham Shakespeare, was murdered for his $30 million, ABC News reported.
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