Anonymity Granted to NH Winner of Powerball Jackpot

The exterior of Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack NH where the lone winning ticket in a $559.7 million Powerball drawing was sold

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A woman who won almost $560m (£403m) in a Powerball jackpot has been allowed to remain anonymous.

Lottery victor in New Hampshire fights for her right to remain anonymous; Molly Line reports from New Hampshire.

Judge Charles Temple is presiding over the bid by New Hampshire lotto victor "Jane Doe" to preserve her anonymity in Hillsborough Superior Court. He did rule, however, that the woman's hometown can be publicly released, as it was "highly unlikely" that the woman could be identified as the victor exclusively based on her hometown.

"The Court has no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and unwanted communications", the judge's resolution states.

Billy Shaheen, a lawyer for the New Hampshire victor, who was described in court papers only as Jane Doe, said that his client was elated to hear the news.

The victor will collect a lump sum of about $358 million, before subtracting for taxes, according to the New Hampshire Lottery.

Temple allowed the woman to maintain her anonymity through the monicker "Jane Doe" but ruled that the woman's hometown can still be made public by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

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Temple found that the commission's argument that revealing her name to ensure the public she's a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" victor was not persuasive, because a trustee claiming a prize on someone's behalf is certainly not a "bona fide" participant or a "real" victor.

The woman who bought the winning ticket in January had gone to court to keep her name from being made public.

Representatives from the law firm accepted the woman's $352 million pre-tax winnings on her behalf last week and the money was held in a trust fund as both sides awaited the court's decision.

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that the commission was "expecting a different outcome", and that it will discuss "appropriate next steps" with the New Hampshire attorney general's office.

The commission said it would have to disclose records identifying Doe if requested, and that any attempt Doe might take to white-out her name on the back of the ticket would invalidate it. She has already donated a combined US$250,000 to Girls Inc of New Hampshire, an empowerment group for girls, and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger, which provides meals for school children during the weekends.

The woman's lawyers argued her privacy interests outweigh what the state said is the public's right to know who won the money.

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