March 7 (UPI) — The winner of a $559.7 million Powerball jackpot had her lawyers claim the winnings Wednesday amid a legal battle to keep her identity secret.
The woman chose to collect the winnings in a lump sum of $352 million before taxes and representatives from the law firm Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., accepted the giant check from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission on behalf of the Good Karma Family trust.
The lawyers announced the winner, identified only as “Jane Doe” in court documents, plans to donate $150,000 to Girls Inc. and $33,000 each to three New Hampshire chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger.
“She realizes how lucky she is,” lawyer William Shaheen told USA Today. “My client doesn’t want any accolades, she doesn’t want any credit. She just wants to do good things.”
The woman purchased the ticket at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack, N.H., on Jan. 6 and and Shaheen’s law firm said the woman made a “huge mistake” when she signed her real name and hometown on the back of the ticket before seeking legal representation.
She is suing the state lottery commission to be exempt from New Hampshire’s “Right to Know Law” which intends to provide transparency and assure the public that winners aren’t associated with the lottery.
A New Hampshire judge ruled Feb. 17 that the jackpot money can go into a temporary trust while the court decides if it will allow the woman to “maintain her privacy and to have the trustee of a designated trust be the public face of the winning ticket.”
Executive director of the state lottery Charlie McIntyre said the interaction between the anonymous winner and the lottery office hasn’t been adversarial.
“The last thing we want to do is stand between a winner and her money,” McIntyre said.
The lawsuit describes the anonymous winner as an “engaged community member” who wants to continue to shop and attend public events “without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars.”