Judge rules $560M Powerball victor can remain anonymous

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The New Hampshire woman who won a Powerball Jackpot will be allowed to remain anonymous. Following instructions from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission's website, Doe signed the back of her ticket with her name, phone number and address.

The state had argued names of lottery winners must be disclosed publicly to ensure they are distributed properly and that winners hold no relation to lottery employees.

As part of their bid to keep her name out of the news, Doe's attorneys created a trust to shield her identity and asked the commission not to identify her.

"(T) he Court has no doubt whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications", Judge Charles Temple wrote in yesterday's decision.

A New Hampshire assistant attorney general also recently argued that it's in the public interest to disclose the woman's identity, saying "The lottery thrives on transparency", according to The Union Leader.

New Hampshire lottery rules have required the winner's name, town and amount won be available for public information, in accordance with open-records laws and to increase trust in the lottery system.

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The order permanently enjoined the Lottery Commission from disclosing her name pursuant to any future right-to-know request, or to any other person or entity unless authorized by law.

Temple ruled today that the woman who won a Powerball jackpot worth almost $560 million can keep her identity private, but not her hometown.

Her attorneys released a statement on Monday saying the victor lives in Merrimack.

The highly anticipated ruling capped a legal saga that began January 29, when Doe sued the Lottery Commission for the right to remain nameless when she claimed her windfall.

Doe accepted the massive prize through her attorneys last week and made several donations to charity - including $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 each to three New Hampshire chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.

She had already received her after-tax winnings of US$264 million while the judge mulled her claim to privacy. Attorneys for the victor have said she plans to donate between $25 million to $50 million during her lifetime, beginning with donations of $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 apiece to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.