Victor of $560M Powerball refusing to claim prize over anonymity

A New Hampshire woman wants to remain anonymous after she won the $559.7 million jackpot with a Powerball ticket

A New Hampshire woman wants to remain anonymous after she won the $559.7 million jackpot with a Powerball ticket

A lottery victor in New Hampshire is suing the state's Lottery Commission to remain anonymous when she claims the winning $560 million ticket, saying she made "a huge mistake" when she signed the back of the ticket, the complaint obtained by ABC News shows.

"She has described the signing as "a huge mistake", said her legal counsel at Hillsborough County Superior Court South, Nashua.

Only after she handed it in did an attorney advise her to create a trust to collect her earnings anonymously but, because she had already signed her ticket, the woman's options are limited, Courthouse News reported.

The woman says she marked the ticket after the January 6 drawing, the country's eighth greatest, reports The Associated Press.

But because of lottery rules, everyone has to know her name: her friends, her family, ex-lovers, her mailman and all her enemies. "Keep it to yourself", she said, asking the Herald to protect her identity to avoid further headaches.

The jackpot victor has now filed a suit against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, declaring that her right to privacy and safety will be threatened if she has to identify herself while claiming her fortune. "If you signed that lottery ticket, the Lottery and the ticket are very clear that if you won, you will be part of the Lottery's public-relations machine". "The immediate emotions were raw and conflicting - awe, disbelief and an unexpected one: panic about how to protect a piece of paper that is most often casually thrown away along with the whimsical hope of being a victor".

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But McIntyre said that after consulting with the state's Attorney General, the commission will proceed according to the rules, which require that the victor be identified. After speaking to attorneys, she learned had a trustee signed the name instead, she could remain anonymous.

The lawsuit said that previous winners have been "victims of violence, threats, harassment, scams and constant unwanted solicitation".

The New Hampshire lottery executive director, Charlie McIntyre, acknowledged that winning the Powerball jackpot could be a life-changing event. The ticket was bought at Reeds Ferry Market, a modest convenience store in Merrimack, N.H. The owner even came out a victor, claiming a $75,000 prize for selling the lucky ducat. A list of beneficiaries must also be divulged to Lottery officials.

A hearing has been set for February 21 to address the woman's request.

"Without the ticket being redeemed, interest is being lost to the petitioner on a daily basis", the complaint says.

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