We all have fantasies of winning the lottery. Whether the dream is to live like a celebrity or simply be financially free to look after our loved ones. However, by winning the lottery, you could also end up being targeted by predators. It’s for this reason, that so many lottery enthusiasts ask the question: Can I keep my identity private if I win the lottery?
While there are lotteries that allow winners to claim their prize anonymously, there are others that require jackpot winners to go public.
Why is information about lottery winners made public?
One of the main reasons that jackpot winner’s details are made public is to show transparency. It shows that ordinary people can win lottery prizes, even incredible jackpot prizes worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The fact that lotteries are able to publish their winner’s names, in essence, also increases trust and fairness.
The irony is that the very same jackpot winners (who chose anonymity) were the same lottery enthusiast at one time who wanted to see actual winners receiving their prizes.
When it comes to advertising the winning lottery numbers, reflecting how many winners there were in each prize tier is also another form of transparency.
What information is made public
When it comes to winning the jackpot, many lotteries require basic information about the winners, which will be released to the public. These various snippets of information include name, city, and the amount won.
If you win the Powerball jackpot there are a number of important steps to follow. You will be guided through the process by lottery officials, but the first thing you need to do is claim your prize and have your ticket validated.
Another condition that lottery winners might face is that it is customary for a press conference to be held.
For lottery jackpot winners who dislike speaking to large crowds, you will be pleased to know that you are not required to speak at the press conference.
Altering your appearance
Certain lotteries allow winners to alter their appearance. We’ve often seen images of lottery winners even sporting masks in order to hide their identity.
List of lotteries where you can win anonymously
If you purchased your ticket from a corner store, you will be pleased to know that there is quite a large amount of lotto games that allow you to claim your win in secret.
Among them are EuroJackpot, EuroMillions, SuperEnalotto, and La Primitiva. If you're wondering which of the lotteries on our website will allow you to stay anonymous after you win the jackpot, take a look at the lotteries listed below:
Please note: By purchasing your entries online at PlayUSALotteries.com your details will automatically be kept private.
Which American States allow you to keep your lottery win a secret?
Keeping a jackpot win a secret is only possible in a few American states. They are as follows:
Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
In Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia, lottery winners can remain anonymous after winning a certain prize amount.
In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico Mega Millions and Powerball lottery winners are required to go public with their wins.
Annuity or a Lump sum
If given the choice, one of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you will take your winnings in a once-off lump sum payout or as an annuity.
Opinion polls were set up in January 2016 when the Powerball jackpot broke the record as the largest jackpot in the world when it rolled over to $1.58 billion.
People were asked if they would go public if they won such an exorbitant lottery prize. Many responded by saying, "Keep it a secret."
Like most things in life, there are loopholes. One of these loopholes is a “blind trust.”
What is a Blind Trust?
Blind trusts are legal asset management structures that can help lottery winners maintain a certain level of privacy and control their money earned.
This option allows winners to instruct a lawyer as a trustee to carry out a money management instruction on behalf of the lottery winner who wants to keep their identity a secret.
Another type of trust that lottery winners make use of in order to claim their prize anonymously is an Irrevocable Trust. This is used when a syndicate wins the lottery.
Irrevocable trusts allow the funds to be dispersed to each of the winners in the group without having to simply rely on a single winner's honesty.
This also helps when it comes to tax consequences of transferring the winnings to multiple parties.
Since it may not be revoked or altered, it helps prevent future disputes among the parties.
$487 million US Powerball jackpot
In July 2016, the winner of the $487 million US Powerball jackpot was that was required to go public as the ticket was sold in New Hampshire. The winner wanted to stay anonymous. In order to do so, they claimed the prize through the Robin Egg 2016 Nominee Trust facilitated by a local law firm.
Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission said, "While we certainly wish we could have met our Powerball winners in person, we appreciate and respect that they have chosen to try to live as normal a life as possible.”
In January 2018, another New Hampshire lottery winner won $560 million on Powerball. However, she didn't realise that she could claim the prize through a blind trust. Instead, she immediately signed the back of her Powerball lottery ticket.
She ended up taking the matter to court, stating: “She is a long-time resident of New Hampshire and is an engaged community member. She wishes to continue this work and 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.”
In March 2018, a New Hampshire judge ruled that she could receive her winnings and do so anonymously. The judge said that if her "identity is revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and unwanted communications. He went on to say that the winner, "had met her burden of showing that her privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of her name."
$758.7 million Powerball jackpot opted to go public
In August 2017, Mavis Wanczyk, also from New Hampshire, won $758.7 million on Powerball. While she had the choice to keep her identity private she opted to go public with her win.
When asked why she would go public with such a large jackpot win she said, “I just wanted to do this, I wanted to just get it over, done with and then everybody will just leave me alone.”
Attorney Jason Kurland said, "She's going to be hit up for investment opportunities, charity requests, even people she knows are going to come to her.”
With a media frenzy surrounding her massive jackpot win, police patrolled around her home and also warned the public of social media scams that could come out of the woodwork.
Are there any benefits of going public after a lottery win?
Now that we know the benefits of claiming lottery prize anonymously, are there any benefits of going public with a win?
According to numerous lottery jackpot winners, it is nearly impossible to keep their lottery wins a secret.
Christine and Colin Weir, who won the £161million EuroMillions jackpot in July 2011 said, "We would have preferred to stay anonymous, but we recognised it wasn't a possibility.
“We wouldn't have been able to enjoy the experience if we had constructed lies to tell our nearest and dearest."
Another British lottery winner who won £1 million in 2002 said she "went public for the same reason the majority of people do - there is nowhere to hide."
Can I claim my winnings anonymously on PlayUSALotteries?
At PlayUSALotteries.com we respect the privacy of our online lottery players. We would never use a player's full name unless permission has been granted.