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U.S. judge rules lottery victor of US$560m can remain undisclosed

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Judge Charles Temple listens to attorney Steven M. Gordon who represents lottery winner

According to the Louisiana Lottery, a Powerball ticket worth $150,000 was sold at Banks Meat Market on South Broad Street.

The woman, from New Hampshire, had signed her ticket after winning the lottery on 6 January but was later told by lawyers that she could have kept her identity hidden by writing the name of a trust instead.

An essential decision ahead, Mr Shaheen said, will be for the victor to determine whether to spend the money while she is alive or to create a more enduring fund, like a foundation or endowment.

The mysterious victor of a $560 million lottery ticket who fought to keep her identity a secret is allowed to stay anonymous, a judge ruled on Monday. Following instructions from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission's website, Doe signed the back of her ticket with her name, phone number and address.

So the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, took the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to court.

The court found that "disclosure of Ms. Doe's name would constitute [an] invasion of privacy", and moved to block her name from being disclosed in any right-to-know request.

A lawsuit filed by the woman's lawyers says she is an "engaged community member" who wants to go about public life "without being known or targeted as the victor of a half-billion dollars".

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The judge wrote that he had "no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications".

Temple found that the commission's argument that revealing her name to ensure the public she's a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" victor was not persuasive, because a trustee claiming a prize on someone's behalf is certainly not a "bona fide" participant or a "real" victor.

Temple, who already agreed to let Doe collect her winnings through the Good Karma Family Trust of 2018 several weeks earlier, refused meanwhile to let Doe keep her hometown a secret.

Commission executive director Charles McIntyre says the commission was "expecting a different outcome" Monday and believed the state had a strong argument.

The woman, who is fighting to remain anonymous through an ongoing lawsuit, is collecting a lump-sum cash prize of $352 million - which will get whittled down to $264 million after taxes.

Abraham Shakespeare, the victor of a $30 million lottery prize in 2006, was approached two years later by a woman who said she was writing a book about how people were taking advantage of him, became his financial adviser and slowly siphoned away his money.

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