Judge Rules Powerball Winner 'Jane Doe' Can Remain Anonymous

Powerball lottery jackpots sometimes range into the hundreds of millions of dollars with the largest ever topping out at $1.6 billion US

The court says the state will only identify the new millionaire's hometown.

He added that she had proved her privacy outweighed the public's interest in disclosing her name in the nation's eighth-largest jackpot.

An essential decision ahead, Mr Shaheen said, will be for the victor to determine whether to spend the money while she is alive or to create a more enduring fund, like a foundation or endowment.

The victor will collect a lump sum of about $358 million, before subtracting for taxes, according to the New Hampshire Lottery.

The woman, from New Hampshire, had signed her ticket after winning the lottery on 6 January but was later told by lawyers that she could have kept her identity hidden by writing the name of a trust instead. She has already donated a combined US$250,000 to Girls Inc of New Hampshire, an empowerment group for girls, and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger, which provides meals for school children during the weekends.

The judge had already ruled last month that the victor could start collecting funds while remaining anonymous as the issue played out in court.

The judge dismissed the state's argument that disclosing her name would show the public that the lottery system is above board. The state Attorney General's Office said the woman's name must be revealed because she signed the back of the ticket, USA Today reported.

A lawsuit filed by the woman's lawyers says she is an "engaged community member" who wants to go about public life "without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".

Should her identity be revealed, "she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and other unwanted communications", Judge Charles Temple of the Hillsborough Superior Court Southern District wrote in a 15-page decision.

Other lottery winners have realized that every ticket buyer's fantasy can quickly morph into a nightmare.

In 2015, Craigory Burch Jr., the victor of a $434,272 jackpot in Georgia, was killed in his home by seven masked men who kicked in his front door.

"The publicity from the [Bulger] case was minuscule compared to this case", Gordon said.

Lawyer William Shaheen said Monday the woman is from Merrimack, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Concord (KAHN'-kard).

But if she wants to keep her hometown secret, Doe's considerable luck may have finally run out. "She killed him first".

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