Hitting the jackpot is a dream for many. Winning is so rare so when you get those winning numbers it can be truly life changing. For one New Hampshire woman, this experience was a little more layer due to some technicalities in the process of claiming the money.
The unnamed woman, who goes by Jane Doe, found out that she’d won the $559.7 million Powerball grand prize. Despite the life changing win, issues quickly arose for the woman who had hopes to remain anonymous with her win. However some technical issues meant that she had to disclose her name in order to claim the money.
The win, which happened in January of 2018, wasn’t officially claimed until later that year because the woman was hoping to claim it without causing a commotion. She had hoped to cash out and keep her anonymity, and even had plans to donate a large portion of the win as a silent party.
NPR reported on it back in 2018. They interviewed New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre who said in a statement, “The New Hampshire Lottery understands that winning a $560 million Powerball jackpot is a life-changing occurrence. While we respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.”
The woman attorney Steve Gordon argued that privacy was very important to her, and was pushing for her to be able to sign the winnings over to someone else or a trust. According to the New Hampshire Lottery the winnings could be awarded to someone else if the woman had signed the ticket over to a different name. Because she’d signed the ticket with her own name, they wouldn’t not allow it or allow her to white it out and change it.
Gordon explained that she was “an engaged community member” who “wishes to continue this work and [keep] the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”
They ultimate decided to hand the money over to her lawyers. She received $264 million after taxes. She then donated $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state.
“My client doesn’t want any accolades. She doesn’t want any credit. She just wants to do good things,” said William Shaheen, one of the woman’s lawyers and the trustee for her Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.