It can’t have escaped your attention that the Powerball jackpot is growing at an alarming rate and now stands at a gigantic $650 million. Obviously, this is a huge sum of money that every ticket holder is going to be desperate to get their hands on one way or another, so how could you stay anonymous if you land the second largest prize in U.S Lottery history?
Why Opt for Anonymity?
Winning a hefty Powerball jackpot may be the dream of every player, but collecting so much money has its pitfalls. Yes, you may have been lucky enough to beating odds of 292,201,338 to one, but keeping your identity out of the press is even more difficult. Eventually, people will begin asking you to spare some of your wealth for a cause that they deem worthy, while others might set out to forcefully dispossess you of your cash. Well, there is a way to avoid the aggravation – anonymity.
Cross the State Border
Believe it or not, but there are a number of states in which your name can remain a mystery should you land a sizeable sum of money. Players in the states of Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina can all collect big lottery prizes without the hassle of meeting the press.
Speaking to TODAY ahead of a $1.58 billion jackpot draw in January 2016, Marty King, partner with Maryland-based law firm Gorman & Williams gave some sage words of advice for potential Powerball winners: “The best thing a person can do is buy a ticket in one of the six states that don’t require you to come forward,” he said. This may prove strenuous, but in the long run it is certainly a path that King strongly recommends.
Set up a Trust
Of course, not everyone wants to make a mammoth journey in order to take part in Powerball, especially if you have to head back to claim a much smaller cash prize. Should this be the case, you can attempt to claim your winnings through a trust fund. This method would allow an appointed ‘lottery lawyer’ to claim the money on your behalf through an established trust that does not bare your name.
An example of this occurred in 2016, when a New Hampshire Powerball winner founded the Robin Egg 2016 Nominee Trust in order to claim a $487 million jackpot. The mystery victor hired the services of Concord law firm Shaheen and Gordon to act on their behalf. Upon claiming the prize, the trust also opted to donate over $100,000 to local charities. “These folks exercised extreme discipline and didn’t sign their name on the back of the ticket, which is why the trustee was able to sign on behalf of the trust and claim the ticket,” Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire lottery commissions, told reporters. “They held on to it for 30 days, and the first I knew they won was when attorney Shaheen contacted our office.”
If you think setting up a trust fund sounds a little complicated, you could always opt for the last resort and hide your face or change your appearance ahead of your meeting with the trigger-happy Powerball photographers. Yes, your identity will be plastered across the front pages, but if your name isn’t instantly recognisable and you are confident that your neighbours won’t catch on before you have had a chance to move, then it’s well worth a shot.
Keen to help winners avoid detection, author Rick “Night Train” Blaine offered some helpful advice ahead of a previous jackpot draw: “Alter your appearance and dress differently than you usually dress,” he said. You could wear sunglasses, don a wig or simply hold the cheque in front of your face. Simple.
In it to Win it
Regardless of how you would keep your identity hidden, you need to enter this Wednesday’s draw to stand any chance of winning. You can pick your numbers online or play through any authorised retailer in participating states or jurisdictions. Good luck!