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Why Most States Don’t Allow You to Claim Powerball Jackpots Anonymously

Why Most States Don’t Allow You to Claim Powerball Jackpots Anonymously

As the latest Powerball jackpot winner goes to court in New Hampshire in the hope of claiming her $559.7 million prize without revealing her identity, you might wonder why most states don’t allow you to claim Powerball jackpots anonymously. There are a couple of reasons behind this ruling, which stands in all participating states apart from Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.

Lottery Transparency

A problem that lotteries around the world face is that, where there are large amounts of money on offer on a game that is challenging to win, people become suspicious that not all is above board. Of course, major lotteries like Powerball are rigorously vetted and independently verified to ensure fairness, but that does not stop the conspiracy theories.

Social media and internet message boards are filled with false accusations that draws are fixed and the money is not distributed fairly. When a player wins big and stays anonymous, this can only fuel these rumors. If a state lottery can parade a real person in front of the TV cameras, and allow them to tell their story, it hopefully satisfies those who might otherwise doubt the lottery’s legitimacy.

Some players also feel they have a right to know who won a jackpot made up of their, and their fellow players’, ticket money.

Defense Against Lottery Fraud

Another reason to make the name of the Powerball jackpot winner public is that it helps fight lottery fraud. The fact that a person will have to identify themselves with a big win should help put off anyone attempting to claim the cash through criminal means.

When former Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) employee Eddie Tipton attempted to claim a $14.3 million Hot Lotto jackpot from a draw that he had rigged, he came unstuck when it came to claiming the prize. Tipton bought the ticket himself, but knowing that his position prevented him picking up the check, he failed to find a satisfactory way to cash in the slip, leading to officials becoming suspicious and launching an investigation.

Mary Neubauer of the Iowa Lottery says that the state’s ruling on making winners’ names public helped capture Tipton, “That law allowed the information to be released in the case and allowed us to make a lot of the progress that has been made in that investigation,”

Why Would You Want to Stay Anonymous?

The recent New Hampshire Powerball winner has stated in court documents that she wants her name kept out of the public eye to protect her against potential risks to her safety and to allow her to live her life without the scrutiny of the press or other citizens.

Some big lottery winners worry about receiving begging letters from strangers, having distant relatives demanding a share of the spoils, and close friends and family members treating them differently after their success.

Better to Go Public?

Other winners prefer to go public with their news, even if they are given the choice to stay private. The thinking is that a multimillion-dollar win, and the mansions and flash cars that go with it, is too difficult to hide. As soon as more than just your close circle of friends find out, it is very difficult to contain such news, and the alternative is creating a web of lies to explain your change in circumstances.

Latest Powerball Jackpot

Of course, wondering whether to go public or stay anonymous with a nine-figure win is a great dilemma to have. For a chance of joining the lottery jet set, you need to buy Powerball tickets. The jackpot for Saturday February 24th is worth $269 million, following a run of 13 rollovers.

Page Last Updated: 2/22/2018 11:54:22 AM