Anonymity for lottery winners?

Feb 19, 2018

A New Hampshire woman who won the recent $560 million Powerball game that is played in several states, including New Hampshire, has filed a lawsuit in an effort to remain anonymous. In New Hampshire, the names of lottery winners are considered public record, which means they’re subject to right-to-know laws. Read more about this issue. 

"Should NH pass a law that keeps the names of lottery winners private?"

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page February 7, 2018

200 citizens responded165 citizens were in favor of allowing lottery winner anonymity32 citizens were opposed to allowing lottery winner anonymity3 citizens said other

What Participants Said

Yes: 165 citizens were in favor of allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous.

  • “Yes. There is no reason why, if someone wins millions of dollars, they should be required to give their names to the public.”
  • “Our money situation is our private business before we win the lottery and should remain so after if that is what we choose.”
  • “Yes, this would help prevent people from trying to scam them … Criminals may think they update electronics, purchase jewelry, etc., [and] look up and target their homes. These people deserve a right to privacy. The IRS will still get their share.”

No: 32 citizens were opposed to allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous.

  • “No … Read the damn rules! If you want to remain anonymous, get a lawyer and set up a trust.”
  • “No. You play by the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't play. Don't give law makers the chance to rig the games.”
  • “There is already a way to stay anonymous. No … Now focus on real problems.”

Other: 3 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Interstate issues: “When any state is involved with joint lottery they all should go by the same rules. This should have been agreed upon joining.”
  • Alternative policies: “Yes and no. I believe in sealed records in case the fact you won the lotto needs to be brought out in court.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology


Mike Dunbar
- Hampton

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 5:00pm

While I sympathize with this woman, we can't lose sight of the importance of transparency. Allowing winners to remain totally anonymous is a recipe for rampant corruption. A compromise might be to provide winners with information on forming trusts before they accept their winnings. That way, they can have some privacy but the public can have a better sense of where the money is going.

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