06 February 2018
A recent lotto jackpot win by a New Hampshire woman could see her get $790 million richer, but there's one catch: she needs to agree to have her name released to the public. The New Hampshire law is very clear on this matter, but the winner says she doesn't want to live a life of glitz and glamour associated with lottery winners who claim big jackpots and this is why she wants to remain anonymous.
According to laws in New Zealand, lottery winners can choose to remain anonymous regardless of the amount that they have won. Since major lotteries began selling tickets in New Zealnd roughly 30 years ago there have been 87 people who have won $5 million or more, and the overwhelming majority of these winners chose to remain anonymous.
It is estimated that 99.5% of all big jackpot winners from New Zealand have decided to remain anonymous, but there are a few winners that went public with their win. 27-year old Trevor Cooper went public when he won $27 million, and in 2009 a family syndicate won $39 million and where photographed for the news but chose to keep their last name private.
Just like the island across the pond, Australian lotto winners can also maintain full privacy after big jackpot wins. In fact, Australian lottery operators encourage jackpot winners to remain anonymous saying that, "try to keep the news within your inner circle, as those closest to you are the most unlikely to exploit your newfound fortune."
There are only six states; South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Delaware, Kansas and Maryland, where jackpot winners can chose to remain anonymous. If you hit the jackpot in any of the other states in America you are required to go public with your win, and in some cases attend a mandatory press conference.
However, there are a few exceptions to the rule; in certain states winners can appoint a lawyer to claim the jackpot on their behalf and other states will allow winners to remain anonymous if they can prove that going public would demonstrate a high risk of harm.
United Kingdom and Europe
United Kingdom law allows winners to reveal certain details; like their age, location or occupation, to the public or alternatively allows them to remain completely anonymous. When opting for complete anonymity the National Lottery will not even reveal the area that the ticket was bought in.
The EuroMillions lottery, played across nine different European countries, allows jackpot winners to maintain full anonymity if they choose.