In New Hampshire, a Powerball jackpot of $560 million has gone unclaimed for over a month because of a legal battle for privacy.
According to the Washington Post, the woman is asking a judge to allow her to keep the money and remain anymous. Her attorney asked a judge on Tuesday to allow her to sign the back of the ticket with the name of an anonymous trust to keep her identity a secret.
What’s crazy about this is that the judge has yet to make a ruling, so every day that the case goes unresolved sis is losing $14,000 in interest. Since the winning numbers were revealed on Jan. 6th she’s almost lost about a half a million!
“We come to the court today in a Catch-22 … Not surprisingly, Ms. Doe would like to cash her ticket,” attorney Steven Gordon, who represents the woman, told the judge. “The ticket and the prize sits in limbo.”
Lottery officials have no sympathy for the woman and claim that the integrity of the game depends on public identification of winners as a protection against fraud and malfeasance.
An attorney for the state and the lottery commission argued in court on Tuesday that New Hampshire lottery rules require the winners’ name, town and amount won be available for public information, in accordance with open-records laws.
Now this is where it gets a little petty! So the state does allow people to form an anonymous trust, but since sis signed her name on the back of the ticket after wining, altering the signature would nullify the ticket.
New Hampshire lottery executive director Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that the commission spoke with the state’s attorney general’s office and said that the Powerball winner must abide by the disclosure laws “like any other.”
“The New Hampshire Lottery understands that winning a $560 million Powerball jackpot is a life-changing occurrence,” the statement said. “Having awarded numerous Powerball jackpots over the years, we also understand that the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players and our games. While we respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.”
In court documents, the woman asked a judge to allow the winnings to be paid to a designated trust but lottery officials argued that even if it goes to a trust, she still has to submit the ORIGINAL ticket in its original form- complete with the ticket buyer’s name and home town.