Can Lottery Winners Stay Anonymous? 11/6/2020
Ever dream of winning a lottery jackpot and becoming a millionaire overnight? Most people would love to be in this enviable situation. Beating the incredible odds to win a grand prize seems like a dream come true but it’s important to be smart about how you handle a sudden windfall.
Once the shock and excitement has died down, you’re bound to have questions. One of the most common questions is whether or not to remain anonymous. Unfortunately most states do not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. The lotteries like to feature winners for marketing purposes. However the following states do allow you to keep your identity secret: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. Additionally Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia will let you stay anonymous if you win more than a certain amount. You’ll want to check the specific rules for your state lottery.
Most people agree it’s best to remain anonymous, if you have the choice. Lottery winners can be susceptible to robberies, blackmail and a media frenzy once their name is made public. They also receive countless requests for money from friends, family, and strangers alike. There are tons of good causes to give to but it can quickly feel overwhelming to handle all of the requests. If winners can remain anonymous it’s easier to carefully consider how to spend the money without the constant pressure and advice from others.
So what options do you have if your state doesn’t allow anonymous lottery winners? If you live near a bordering state that does let winners conceal their identity, then consider buying your tickets in that state. You do not have to be a resident to play or win the lottery in another state. However you would need to redeem the prize in the state where the ticket was purchased.
You also have the option to set up a trust in a different name to redeem the prize money that way. When you sign the back of your winning ticket you should leave space to add the name of a trust. It’s important to consult a lawyer and financial adviser early in the process. They can help you make decisions about payouts, taxes, etc. Take your time and be cautious about who you accept advice from. With the right information and planning, you can ensure your dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare.