Your Lottery Winner: Anonymous

Picture by The Reboot

Picture by The Reboot

It’s been all over the news today: one of the winning Mega Millions tickets was sold in Buckhead. And now we know the Georgia winner’s name and where she lives, because Georgia is in the majority of states in requiring that the names of lottery winners be public. In a minority of states the winner can remain anonymous; one of those states is South Carolina, where a recent Powerball winner chose anonymity.

Whether a lottery winner should be able to remain anonymous is debated; financial advisers recommend it, but lotteries argue against it. Pennsylvania is currently considering legislation to allow for anonymity, and other legislation was recently proposed in Michigan and New Jersey.

However, even if the winner has to come forward, there may still be a way to protect anonymity by using a trust; this was the option taken by a recent winner in Houston, who created a trust (with the attorney as trustee) to receive the winnings.

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