The New Hampshire woman suing her state for the right to anonymously collect a $560 million Powerball jackpot will have her day in court next week — or at least her lawyers will.
A hearing on the merits of the lawsuit filed by the woman, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, is slated for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, according to a spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Judicial Branch.
In a civil complaint filed Jan. 29 against the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, lawyers for the plaintiff, who won the jackpot last month, said she “deeply values her privacy” and wants to support charitable causes “far from the glare and misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery ‘winners.’ ”
The complaint says the woman visited the commission’s website when she realized she won and followed the agency’s instructions for redeeming her prize, signing the back of the ticket and printing her address and phone number.
But after speaking with a lawyer, the complaint says, Doe realized she could have maintained her privacy if a trustee had signed the ticket instead.
She has created a trust and wants the state to either withhold her name from public disclosure or replace her identifying information with that of the trust. However, the complaint says, the commission has informed her that any alteration of the ticket will make it invalid.
“Without the ticket being redeemed, interest is being lost to the petitioner on a daily basis,” the complaint says. “The ticket needs to be redeemed within one year. Time is of the essence.”
In a statement earlier this week, the state lottery’s executive director, Charlie McIntyre, said his agency understands that winning such a large sum is a “life-changing occurrence.”
“Having awarded numerous Powerball jackpots over the years, we also understand that the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players, and our games,” McIntyre said. “While we respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols. After consulting with the New Hampshire attorney general’s office on this matter, we have been advised that the lottery must proceed in accordance with its rules and by state law in processing this claim like any other.”Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.