Winning the lottery is a dream come true for the handful of lucky people. After all, who wouldn’t love to spend a few dollars and potentially be set up for life with millions of dollars?
Unfortunately, though, there is a dark side to being a lottery winner. People that have scored the jackpot may suddenly find their phones ringing constantly with relatives, friends, and even unknown people asking for loans. They may even start receiving communications from investment brokers and other financial experts that want to take them on as new clients. While this may be annoying, there is also a more sinister side for the lottery winner. Having their identity and newfound wealth disclosed to the public leaves these winners open to robberies, kidnappings, and even murders.
To protect these winners, some states have allowed big jackpot winners to remain anonymous. Only a small number of states allow winners of the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots to remain anonymous. Those are:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
There are also a few states that allow winners to remain anonymous if they win over a certain amount of money. Those states are:
All remaining states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands require lottery winners to publicly come forward to claim their cash prize.
As of 2019, though, there are several states that are pushing for legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous if they so choose.