Winning the lottery sounds great, but having a lot of money is both a blessing and a curse. Was your name revealed publicly? If the answer is yes, the odds are you will be hearing from your family, friends, and every other person you know (or don’t know).
The only way to get peace of mind is to ensure you remain anonymous. While your anonymity might vary depending on the applicable laws, there are ways to stay under the radar after winning the lottery. Here is a detailed guide on what you should do if you win a jackpot, and don’t want to tell anyone!
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- 11 States Where You Can Legally Remain Anonymous After Winning the Lottery
- Are the Regulations Changing in the Other States?
- A Woman Filed a Lawsuit Because She Wanted to Stay Anonymous
- How to Use a Trust to Remain Anonymous After a Lottery Win
- Why Is Trust within a Trust a Safer Strategy?
- 7 Tips on What to Do After Winning a Lottery Jackpot
- Final Thoughts
11 States Where You Can Legally Remain Anonymous After Winning the Lottery
Did you check the lottery results, and it turns out you are the latest jackpot winner? That is great news, but for your safety and benefit, it might be better to keep that information from the public.
In the United States of America, every state has its laws when it comes to letting the lottery winners stay anonymous. After a detailed analysis, we established that 11 states allow jackpot and all other prize winners to keep their anonymity.
Those states include:
|North Dakota||Ohio||South Carolina|
Are the Regulations Changing in the Other States?
It seems that the regulations are changing because multiple states adjusted their laws in recent years. For example, you didn’t have the right to stay anonymous in Texas until 2017. It was then when the state passed a bill that allows anonymity to all winners who won more than $1 million.
The same bill was passed in Georgia, but they put the limit to $250,000. In Georgia, all winners of more than $600 can stay anonymous. A long list of states, such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Colorado, agree to pay the money to a trust. The odds are that more states will adjust their laws in the future since winners should have the legal right to remain anonymous.
A Woman Filed a Lawsuit Because She Wanted to Stay Anonymous
The biggest controversy about the lottery winner’s anonymity might have been raised a couple of years ago in New Hampshire. A female player won $560 million on US Powerball, and she signed her ticket. Once the lady had gone to claim her prize, she was informed that she couldn’t stay anonymous despite the request. The authorities explained that the fact she signed the ticket is the problem.
The woman didn’t want to accept this, so she filed a lawsuit. She risked getting even more publicity for that, but she won the case. The judge allowed her to stay anonymous, and this event might be what leads many states to change their lottery winners’ anonymity law in the future.
How to Use a Trust to Remain Anonymous After a Lottery Win
The bad news is that laws in most US states do not favor anonymity. However, there is a legal way around it, and it involves building trust. Thanks to that, the lottery company won’t reveal your name as the winner. Instead, they will inform the public that a trust organization won the prize.
A simple way is to open a “blind” trust. That involves starting an LLC (limited liability company) that shouldn’t have a name that is not associated with you. As the trust’s owner, you will claim the prize. After doing that, the only thing to consider is how long you have to wait for the lottery money. You will receive funds for the company’s account, but you will have the legal right to do whatever you want with it.
Why Is Trust within a Trust a Safer Strategy?
Legal experts imply that you should consider another alternative – establishing trust as a part of another trust. It is a legitimate way of preventing people from finding your name easily. That could come useful, especially if you won a lifechanging jackpot sum, such as the one offered by US Powerball or Mega Millions.
It would be smart to consult an attorney to ensure all the paperwork is handled well. Since the strategy involves trust within a trust, you will need a bridge and claiming companies. You start by establishing a claiming trust that you will use to receive the prize. As soon as you get the payment, you transfer it to a bridge trust. Thanks to that, your identity is safer and harder to trace, which improves the odds of keeping anonymity.
7 Tips on What to Do After Winning a Lottery Jackpot
Perhaps you read expert tips on winning the lottery, or you had an enormous amount of luck (which is always needed in these games). Either way, you won a jackpot, and we congratulate you. While you should find some time to celebrate, this is also a moment for big decisions.
Check out these seven crucial tips on what to do after winning a lottery jackpot.
1. Take a Moment to Think
You will be over the moon for winning a lifechanging jackpot, and that is perfectly fine. However, the first thing you want to do is to take a moment and think. The fact that everything will change is both the good and the bad news. You’ve become rich, but that comes with a set of new responsibilities, and one of them is staying anonymous. Fortunately, you have some time before you receive the prize to come up with a strategy on how to deal with the money.
2. Keep Your Day Job
Don’t rush any decisions and keep your job, at least for now. That will help you to show others that there is nothing special going on – if you quit your job for no reason, people might suspect you are the lucky jackpot winner. Additionally, you will still need money to survive until the jackpot is paid out – that is another reason to be patient.
3. Hire an Attorney
You will need a legal professional immediately after winning the lottery. It should be a person you can trust, and make sure that they are an experienced and reputable attorney. They will protect you against potential scams because some family members or friends might try to take away the win from you.
A lawyer can also handle all the paperwork, and make sure you pay all taxes and stay in line with the regulations. Meeting the regulations are challenging, which is why you need a professional to do everything by law.
4. Talk to a Financial Advisor
The odds are you don’t have experience with dealing with such a big sum of money. That is why you will need a financial advisor, too. It should be a person you can trust immensely, and they should be ready to tailor a financial strategy suitable to you.
An experienced advisor will probably tell you to set enough money aside so that you can push through a rough patch if you encounter it later in life. They could also advise you on investing some funds to secure a steady revenue.
5. Create a Plan What You Want to Do with the Money
Whether it is with a financial advisor or yourself, you need a plan on what to do with the money. It is perfectly fine to have a spending spree, but make sure to act sensibly. Too many lottery winners have ended up living homeless and without a single cent. That is why you shouldn’t think that the jackpot money is a bottomless pit. If you act smartly, you will secure that you can enjoy the rest of your life.
6. Take a Vacation and Live the Life to the Fullest
Hey, you won a jackpot, which means you are entitled to have some fun! Have you always wanted to travel to another continent? Would you like to buy a huge TV and the latest console to play games?
Once you claim the prize, take some time to live life to the fullest. That doesn’t mean you should act stupid, but the jackpot will secure that you can make many of your wishes to come true. It is why you shouldn’t miss that unique opportunity to turn your dreams into reality!
7. Don’t Forget to Give Back to the Community
Should we remind you that you won huge money while many people are struggling to make ends meet? As a jackpot winner, do your best to give something back to the community. You will find numerous charity organizations that you can donate money to, and it is up to you to pick the desired ones. Alternatively, you can also help family and friends by paying their bills, helping them to set a business, etc. If you want to pursue anonymity, you can always donate via your lawyer as the trustee.
Q: Can you remain anonymous if you win the Powerball?
A: That depends on the state where you won the prize. If you won the jackpot in Arizona, Texas, Virginia, North Dakota, South Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, or Georgia, you could stay anonymous. However, the law requires revealing the winner’s name publicly in other states.
Q: Why can’t lottery winners remain anonymous?
A: The laws in most states require the lottery companies to reveal the winners’ names publicly. That is how they prove that they are transparent about their business and that even the largest prizes are a fair-play game.
Q: Can you remain anonymous after winning a European lottery?
Q: What was the biggest lottery jackpot ever won?
A: In US Powerball, three lucky winners split a jackpot of $1.586 billion. The biggest single lottery winner was from South Carolina – the lucky player won $1.53 billion in Mega Millions.
Q: Should I tell my family and friends if I win the jackpot?
A: If you plan to stay anonymous, apply the rule that the fewer people know, the better. You should avoid telling anyone right away. Instead, wait for everything to cool down, and then choose with some carefully selected persons. Make sure they don’t spread the word, though.
A lottery win is life-changing in every way, but it is something that happened to you. That means you should have the right to keep the information about your win to yourself. Unfortunately, not many states allow you to stay anonymous, but there are legal ways around that. You will need to invest a bit of time and effort to protect your anonymity from the public, but the peace of mind that secures will be worth it.