United States judge rules lottery victor of US$560m can remain undisclosed

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

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.

Not much is known about the southern New Hampshire woman, who won the Powerball jackpot in January and asked a judge to let her stay out of the public eye.

Cashiers Kathy Robinson, left, and Ethel Kroska, right, both of Merrimack, N.H., sell a lottery ticket at Reeds Ferry Market convenience store in Merrimack on January 7, 2018.

Jane Doe, as the victor had identified herself in a January 29 complaint, said she had been in a panic when the winning numbers were announced on January 6.

The victor sued the New Hampshire Lottery last month under the name of Jane Doe, in a bid to collect the winnings through a trust to protect her anonymity.

She learned from attorneys subsequently, however, that New Hampshire would in turn treat her right to privacy as forfeited under the state's Right to Know law.

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

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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.

"If I told you she was ecstatic it would be an understatement", Shaheen said in an email to CNNMoney. Identified in court documents as Jane Doe, a woman who bought the winning ticket there won the $559.7 million jackpot and has filed suit to preserve her anonymity. The woman ended up establishing the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018.

New Hampshire Lottery Executive Director Charlie McIntyre said in a statement that the commission was "expecting a different outcome", and that it will discuss "appropriate next steps" with the New Hampshire attorney general's office.

Maura McCann, a spokeswoman for the Lottery Commission, said in an e-mail that the state couldn't release Doe's hometown Monday, since "the ruling is not yet a final decision, still subject to final review and appeal".

The payout netted Doe $264 million after taxes, and her lawyers announced a combined $250,000 contribution from the trust to Girls Inc. of New Hampshire and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.

He said the intense public interest in the Powerball suit "was unprecedented from my perspective".