Can You Stay Anonymous after Winning the Lottery?

Everybody wants to win a big lottery like the US Powerball or the Mega Millions one day. Getting your very own lotto jackpot is one of the collective dreams of modern society. While everyone has thought about how a jackpot could make their wildest dreams come true, there are some technical aspects about being a lottery winner that are best thought of even before putting in the ticket. One of these key elements is whether or not you would like to remain anonymous while you embark on the lotto life. Can you stay anonymous after winning the lottery anyway?

In this article, this is precisely the question that we are going to answer, as preserving your anonymity after winning the lottery depends heavily on the legal boundaries set by each country. We are going to answer the commonly asked questions about the anonymity of lottery winners. Read on to find out how to remain anoymous after winning the lottery!

The New Hampshire Powerball Winner Who Fought to Remain Anonymous

The anonymity option of lottery winners has become front-page news in 2018, after a woman from New Hampshire decided to take the matter to court as to keep her identity secret. She scooped a $560 Million jackpot in the US Powerball in January 2018. Since New Hampshire is one of the states where the law demands that the name of lotto winners be public information. Let's say she found herself in quite a difficult position.

She decided to file a suit against the Lottery Commission under the name of Jane Doe and demanded that she be exempted from the “Right to Know” law in New Hampshire. She claimed that she was not aware that signing her ticket would imply that she would make her identity public and that she did not know that forming an anonymous trust when buying the ticket was an option.

Jane Doe explained in her petition just how important her privacy is to her. She said that she wants to have “the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known as the winner of a half-billion dollars.” The case escalated to the Supreme Court and after a long series of hearings, Judge Charles Temple of New the Hampshire’s Hillsborough County ruled that Jane Doe could be allowed to keep her name private, but that she would have to make the name of her hometown public.

After that, Jane Doe collected her check for $352 Million, which was the lump payment amount for the $560 Million Powerball jackpot. She donated a large amount of money to several charity organizations and continues to roam the streets of New Hampshire without having to worry about anybody recognizing her.

Why Do Lottery Officials Want to Make Winners' Names Public?

Since staying anonymous appears to be very important for a lot of lottery winners, you may be wondering why some lottery officials insist on making their winners' names public. The central reason behind this is precisely the transparency of the lottery process. The fact that ordinary people not only can win the lottery but that they actually do win those prizes worth millions, must be public information. It increases the people’s ability to trust the process.

Seeing those pictures of people holding the oversized mock-cheques makes the lottery dream real and within the grasp of any lottery player out there. It is indeed important that people are able to visualize the success that comes with winning the lottery. Moreover, the integrity of the lottery can only be preserved if the identity of the winners is public information that anyone can analyze according to their own terms.

Staying Anonymous After Winning the Lottery : an Option or a Right?

Whether or not lottery winners can remain anonymous depends on the privacy laws in the countries organizing the games, as well as the specific policies of the lotteries.

As such, each lottery can set up its own rules about the identity of its winners as long as it is compatible with the local laws.

Since privacy laws differ from one country to another, in the following section of our article we will provide you with more detailed informations on some of the biggest lottery countries out there. In addition, here you can find a list of the lotteries on our platform that allow their winners to remain anonymous.

Can You Stay Anonymous After Winning the Lottery in America?

lottery winners wondering about anonymity

This is one of the most commonly asked questions in the lottery world. When people buy their tickets to the US Powerball or the Mega Millions, they often wonder if taking the picture with the large cheque is mandatory or merely an option for those willing to become public figures. As for the answer, it depends on the specific laws in the American state offering the lottery.

So, if you don’t want your name on the front page of every newspaper in the US, there are only six states where you should play: Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota, Maryland, South Carolina, and Ohio. These are the only American states that give lottery winners the option to remain anonymous. Whether or not the New Hampshire case is precedent enough for some changes to be made in this regard remains to be seen, but at the moment, outside these six states, lottery winners must still make their identities public if they win the lottery.

There are also four states where lottery winners can collect their winnings by setting up anonymous trusts. These are Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, and they allow attorneys representing anonymous trusts to collect lottery prizes. In addition, Illinois and Oregon have made some exceptions to making the identity of lottery winners public, provided that they were able to demonstrate that revealing their names could prove to be harmful to them.

Can You Stay Anonymous After Winning the Lottery in Europe?

lottery winners wondering about anonymity

The vast majority of European lotteries have one significant advantage when compared to their American counterparts, and that is the fact that lottery winners have the option to remain anonymous while collecting their prizes. European lotteries generally have a “No Publicity” box on the back of the ticket and it is up to the players to decide whether they want to participate to the press conferences or if they want to keep their identities private.

Even the biggest European lotteries, such as the EuroMillions or the other transnational lottery, the EuroJackpot, abide by this rule and give their winners the opportunity to choose. While a large part of European lottery winners choose to remain anonymous, there are still quite a few of them who want to take part to the champagne celebration and the photoshoot with the oversized cheque. You may even remember some of them, such as Jane Park, Adrian Bayford, or Chris and Colin Weir.

So: when you play European lotteries, keep in mind that all you have to do in order to preserve your anonymity after winning is to simply tick the “No Publicity” box. This is one aspect you should consider even before buying your lottery tickets. While European lotteries do not disclose the names of their winners if they tick the No Publicity box, they do make the names of the winners' hometown public, for transparency reasons.

Please note that every country has its own policy regarding the requirements made to lottery winners. While the above-mentioned rules are valid for all nine EuroMillions countries, as well as all of the EuroJackpot countries, there may be other European lotteries that have a different rule sets.

Can You Stay Anonymous After Winning the Lottery on LottoSmile?

If you are one of LottoSmile's winners, it is entirely up to you whether you want to participate in a photoshoot and make your identity public on our platform or not. Our Lottery Winner Hall of Fame features the fantastic stories of our biggest winners and it was made with the information they were willing to share about themselves.

However, disclosing your identity to the lottery you have won depends entirely on the legal background of the said lottery. For instance: if you win the US Powerball, you will have to participate in to the formal prize collection process and abide by the Powerball legal rules.

When you win on LottoSmile, know that we will be there, with you, every step of the way. We will offer you assistance with the prize collection process. When an online player won a significant amount at the Oregon Megabucks on our portal, we offered him a complimentary trip to the US and we helped him collect his prize anonymously from the Oregon lottery authorities.

So, have you thought about what you would want to do after winning the lottery? Would you want to disclose your identity or would you like to remain anonymous? If preserving your anonymity is important to you, then you could try choosing the games you want to play according to this. With this in mind, European lotteries appear to be the ideal choice for those who want to keep away from the public eye.

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