With the Mega Millions and the Powerball jackpots soaring, ticket buyers are in a giddy stupor daydreaming about what they would do and who they would finally tell off in gold dust skywriting if they win. Believe it or not, there are many lottery winners love nothing more than to bask in the glamour and glitz of the lottery winner spotlight. Then there are those who would like to keep their identity private after winning the lottery.
Many people ask the question: “If I win the lottery do I have to go public?” This all depends on where you live, as Governments dictate whether you can stay anonymous or not.
Winning large amounts of money can have unforeseen circumstances which is why the topic of anonymity is such an important one. While most lottery winners don’t experience any difficulties such as unwanted attention after winning a significantly large jackpot, there have been cases where a few winners have.
Having your identity splashed over the newspapers and online media could cause long-lost relatives and acquaintances to suddenly come knocking on your door asking for a handout. Or worse, you could end up being targeted by criminals looking to lure you into a scam or being subjected to physical harm! It’s for these reasons that it’s always safer to rather opt to keep your identity a secret after winning a huge lottery jackpot. Depending on where you live, you can.
United States of America
As there are 50 states in The United States, there are many different rules and regulations.
Out of the 50 states there only seven of them that allow lottery jackpot winners to stay anonymous. These are Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas.
For lottery players living in California, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, and even U.S. territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, you will not be allowed to stay anonymous.
In Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont you will be allowed to claim your lottery winnings through a trust, and usually, a lawyer will do so on your behalf.
In Illinois and Oregon you can keep your identity private, but only if you can demonstrate a high risk of harm should you go public.
A lottery winners’ struggle to stay anonymous recently hit the headlines when US Powerball jackpot winner filed a lawsuit against the American Lottery Commission in order to keep her identity private.
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. She eventually won the case and claimed her $560 million jackpot.
Canada requires lottery winners to participate in a publicity photo shoot showing their face, their name and their municipality. It’s done largely for transparency reasons. It proves that people are actually winning the prizes. So by purchasing a lottery ticket, you are essentially agreeing to these conditions. However, in 2008, the Western Canada Lottery Corp., allowed a Winnipeg winner to remain anonymous citing security concerns. Given those risks, lotto corporations make the occasional exception.
The United Kingdom & Europe
Lottery games which fall under the UK National Lottery umbrella, such the UK Lottery, EuroMillions and Thunderball allow winners to either publically declare their lotto wins or to keep their identity private. Playing these lotto games allows you to completely avoid the press conferences and photo shoots without having to form a trust or hire a lawyer or to bath in the spotlight.
Ironically, a lot of people in the United Kingdom choose to go public instead of staying anonymous, saying that they would rather deal with the short-lived publicity than constantly try and avoid the media. The British media are well-known to constantly trying to get a story as we’ve seen with Jane Park, who seems to be in the media almost every week. Although, that might just be due to the fact that she seeks the public attention.
Australia mimics the same set up as the United Kingdom with regards to claiming your lottery win publically or staying anonymous. Unlike most countries, lottery officials in Australia actually encourage winners to maintain their anonymity. They advise people to: “keep the news within your inner circle, as those closest to you are the most unlikely to exploit your newfound fortune.”
In New Zealand, an estimated 99.5%, prefer to protect their identity, unlike lottery winners in the UK. Thankfully, New Zealand allows lottery winners to remain completely anonymous.
At first, we thought it was mandatory to keep your lottery win private in China as we keep seeing lottery winners pose for the cameras wearing a variety of different masks. After investigating a little closer, winners can actually choose to go public or remain anonymous. It’s the lottery officials that “highly recommend” that they choose the latter option for security reasons. Unlike the USA, all lottery winners are required to claim their lottery prizes in person and participate in a publicity photo shoot.
If the winner opts to stay anonymous, they are given masks or costumes to wear. Throughout the years, it’s become a tradition of sorts among lottery winners to don colourful costumes when claiming their check to protect their identity.
So if you happen to come across a lottery winner from China in the media, don’t be surprised to see them dressed up as a cartoon or a movie character. One time a lottery winner, dubbed “Mr Money,” wore a horse mask while collecting the prize. He asked reporters to delete pictures showing his shoes, afraid that someone might recognize him by them.
Can I Collect My Winnings Anonymously At PlayUSALotteries?
Yes, of course! By default all registered online lottery players on PlayUSALotteries, without exception, operate under full privacy protection.
No matter where you are based or which lottery you win, your privacy and anonymity are always 100% guaranteed.
While the big data kingpins of Silicon Valley say the notion that privacy is for people with "something to hide" at PlayUSALotteries we believe that privacy is not a cause for suspicion. Far from it – we believe that privacy is, and always should be, a basic human right.
If you woke up to discover you're millions of Euro, Dollars or Pounds richer would you immediately rush out to tell the world or would you err on the side of caution?
In the end, it's your decision to make.
What about you? Do you believe that lottery winners should be made public or should they be given the option to stay anonymous?
Let us know in the comments section below and earn valuable LottoPoints in the comments below!
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