Imagine playing the US Powerball and matching all the winning numbers. Just like that, your entire life would change because you would instantly become a multi-millionaire. You could make every one of your dreams and fantasies become reality!
Of course, when we fantasize about winning the lottery, we only think about the good parts and not about how some lottery winners have their names revealed to the world, which brings a lot of unwanted attention with it.
Suddenly, everyone comes around looking for a share of your win because they feel entitled to it, no matter how old or distant the relationship may be, and it all snowballs into a big bundle of stress. This, of course, begs the question: Can I win Powerball anonymously?
If I win the US Powerball, Can I Remain Anonymous?
The short answer is – it all depends on where you win the Powerball. Why is the most important aspect? Simply because some states allow Powerball winners to remain anonymous, while others do not. The rules regarding how to play Powerball are the same all over America, but those concerning the winners, the prizes, and the taxes differ because US states have different requirements.
Which American states allow lottery winners to stay anonymous?
There are only six states that give Powerball winners anonymity and these are Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina. Winners in these states do not have to collect their prize in person nor disclose their identity. Many experts agree that remaining anonymous is one of the things that successful lottery winners do, so it is worth taking advantage of if you’re lucky enough to win a jackpot in one of these states.
Which US States allow winners to collect jackpots via trusts?
In some states, it is possible to form a trust that collects the prize with the beneficiary of the trust being, ostensibly, the holder of the winning ticket. A trust is a legal entity that can shield the identity of the winner from prying eyes. These states are Connecticut, Vermont, Colorado, and Massachusetts. Some states also let syndicate winners collect prizes using the name of the syndicate, thereby keeping the identities of the syndicate members a secret.
Is it impossible to stay anonymous in the rest of the US?
Lottery winners must respect the local laws in order to collect their prizes, but in extraordinary situations, an exception could be made. This entails a trial and only the Supreme Court has the ability to allow winners to collect jackpots anonymously, but there is a precedent*.
*In January 2018, a woman from New Hampshire won $559 million, which made her one of the biggest Powerball winners to date. She wanted to remain anonymous in spite of the fact that New Hampshire is not one of the states that permits that. So she filed a suit against the American Lottery Commission.
A few months later, the case got to the Supreme Court and the final ruling was in favor of the New Hampshire winner. She was allowed to collect her entire Powerball prize through a trust. This proves that if the winners make a good case, exceptions can be made regarding anonymity.
Why Should the Names of the Winners be Made Public?
After reading all this, you must be wondering why the other states require Powerball jackpot winners to identify themselves. What is the purpose of all this effort? Well, the main reason is transparency. Lotteries go to extraordinary lengths to prove that everyone who buys a ticket has an equal chance of winning and that the games aren’t rigged in any way.
By requiring that jackpot winners identify themselves, state lotteries add another level of transparency. It is one that, unfortunately, comes at the expense of the winners, but that goes to the gain of the players.
For Powerball winners who absolutely must identify themselves to collect their prize, there is something that they can do to deflect some of the unwanted attention and solicitations they are bound to receive.
Experts advise that lottery winners hire financial planners to help manage their money. In addition to financial management, planners and advisors can also be used to deflect inquiries and requests. “I’ll have to run that by my financial advisor” can be a stock answer to all unwanted inquiries.
Additionally, it might be the case that a substantial amount of winnings are invested or otherwise not immediately accessible as cash. Not only will this ensure future revenue or at least safeguard the jackpot from superfluous purchases, but investments also make for a great excuse as to why you don’t have cash on hand to give away.
What would you do if you won the jackpot? Would you stay anonymous or would you take the publicity photos with the huge cheque? Play Powerball online and you might have to make a decision on that soon enough!