Remain Anonymous after Winning the Lottery, Thanks to States’ LawFebruary 26, 2019
Lottery winners attract a lot of attention. People in the whole country are going to read about them at least once a week or more. Media houses are likely to delve into their private lives and sometimes even disclose personal information. Their ordeal wouldn’t end with headlines alone. They would get calls from all kinds of institutes, organizations, and people for donations. Yes, winning lottery has a few drawbacks. This can be particularly unsettling if the amount they won was in millions. This can be huge winnings from international online lotteries such as the Powerball, Eurojackpot, Megamillions etc. If you were to win these record-breaking lotteries, you will have the whole world’s eye on you.
So, can one really keep their winning a secret? Is it possible to take out the winning amount anonymously?
Why Are the Winners Revealed?
The organizers make it a point to reveal the names of the winners to the world to induce a sense of ‘larger than life’ feeling towards lotteries. They want to show the world that they can be trusted by ordinary people around the world and they are genuine in conducting such lottery games. Hence, many lotteries even mandate it to reveal their winners to the public. Only a select few states such as Kansas, North Dakota, South Carolina, Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland allow the winners to remain anonymous.
How Can You Claim Your Lottery Winning Anonymously?
While the lottery organizers require a winner’s name to be announced, you can still claim the prize money strategically by –
- First by Using “Blind Trust”
You can create a Limited liability Company (LLC) or Trust and name it anything other than your own name. A lottery winner once created a Trust in the name of ‘The Rainbow Sherbert’ after winning a lottery of 21 crores. She did indicate the name of the store wherein she bought the lottery ticket. If you want to go that extra mile, you must create an LLC/Trust within an LLC/Trust. However, you will be required to seek legal expert advice at this stage. This trust is called the “claiming trust”, which will be responsible for claiming the prize. You can assign the ticket to this Trust. If you are worried about whether a Trust that no related information has connected to you can claim the winning money, you can be at peace as a Trust has the following people-
- Grantor- This will be you
- Trustee- This will also be you
- Beneficiary- You can add anyone from your family or close circle that you trust completely.
- Second by Changing Your Name
Yes, you can change your name before you make claims for your lottery winnings as long as you have the winning ticket number. You have a period of 180 days before you make the claim. While this is the standard time period, it may vary with a few lottery organizers. In this standard period, you can change your name and claim the prize. The changing of one’s name is quite a long process and requires you to make public announcements, for example, in the newspapers. However, this change of name can be traced back to you if needed and doesn’t really shield you with complete anonymity.
You must seek the advice of a legal expert in such sensitive matters. After claiming the money, taking adequate precautions can prevent any untoward situations such as scams or requests pouring in from strangers and relatives.