NH Powerball Winner Wins Right to Privacy

March 13, 2018


CONCORD, N.H. The half-billion-dollar Powerball jackpot winner has won again – this time, in court.


A judge ruled she can keep her name private, but her hometown can be made public.The New Hampshire Lottery said it was expecting a different outcome, but for the winner is very happy, according to her lawyer.


Known in court only as Jane Doe, she is the winner of one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history.


“It was extraordinarily stressful for her, so she was really quite pleased,” said Steven Gordon, Jane Doe’s attorney.


On Monday, a judge ruled in her favor, saying that releasing her name would be a violation of privacy and making that information exempt from the state's Right to Know law.


“To be able to walk around and feel that you're part of a community, but you're not targeted in the community, and that right to privacy, which was so important, was protected in this case,” Gordon said.


The judge did make it known that the winner lives in Merrimack.


The woman purchased the winning $559 million Powerball ticket in town at Reed's Ferry Market in January. She signed her name on the back of the ticket, and the state argued that meant her identity should be made public.


Her attorney countered that her privacy was more important.


“I think that if somebody wins a big Powerball, they'll think twice before signing their name individually," Gordon said.


Last week, the New Hampshire Lottery paid a lump sum of $352 million to the woman's trust. She donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Granite State charities.

Gordon said his client was touched by thank-you notes written by recipients of her donations.


“She intends to continue and hopes to continue to privately contribute funds, to make donations, to be a really good citizen, but do that privately,” he said.


The New Hampshire Lottery said it is talking with the attorney general's office to determine the next steps in this case.


See the story: (http://www.wmur.com/article/judge-rules-nh-powerball-winner-can-keep-name-private/19408539)


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