$560M Lottery Winner Fights to Reverse 'Huge Mistake'

Lawyers say she's already being targeted by scammers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 4:17 AM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2018 6:00 AM CST
Judge Charles Temple listens to an attorney representing lottery winner "Jane Doe" during a hearing at Hillsborough Superior Court in Nashua, NH, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)
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(Newser) – The mystery New Hampshire woman who won a $560 million Powerball jackpot still has a privacy problem—but there's no shortage of people offering to help. Lawyers for "Jane Doe," who wants to collect the prize anonymously but made the "huge mistake" of signing the ticket, say they've heard from people all around the world who are offering to help, most of them demanding a fee of $1 million or more for collecting the prize on her behalf, the New York Times reports. The lawyers say the offers show exactly why the winner wants to keep her name secret: to avoid the "violence, threats, harassment, scams, and constant unwanted solicitation" that have plagued other lottery winners. New Hampshire law requires the release of the name and hometown of winners, though the winner would have been able to remain anonymous if she had set up a trust.

Doe's lawyers want her to be allowed to set up a trust to claim the ticket, but the state lottery commission says it needs to be submitted in its original form. The lawyers have urged the state to let her claim a $352 million lump-sum payout while her battle for privacy plays out in court, the Boston Herald reports. "With her prize winnings, Ms. Doe will be able to obtain the necessary security to ensure her and her family's safety and take other protective actions in order to mitigate acts of harassment and annoyance," lawyers said at a court hearing Tuesday. A deputy state attorney general representing the lottery commission argued that with a jackpot that size, there is a "public interest in who the winner was, and that it is a fair and equitable process." (Read more Powerball stories.)

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