Winning the lottery is a dream come true for a 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, being a lottery winner has its cons. Among these is paying taxes on your lottery winnings. Additionally, people that have scored the jackpot may suddenly find their phones constantly ringing 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. Furthermore, winners whose identity and newfound wealth are disclosed to the public leave them 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.
The Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball, explicitly states that if you purchase a winning lottery ticket in the following eleven states, you have the legal right to remain anonymous:
As of 2019, several states are pushing for legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous if they so choose. Additionally, some states have alternative ways for lottery winners to protect their privacy, such as claiming the prize in the name of a trust or LLC.
Can Stay Anonymous?
Permanent Anonymous Eligible?
|Alabama||Has no lottery|
|Alaska||Has no lottery|
|Arizona||Yes||Winners of $100,000 or more||Winners of $600 or more are confidential for 90 days after the prize has been awarded .|
|Arkansas||Yes||Winners of $500,000 or more|
|Colorado||Partially||The first name and first initial of the last name goes onto the Colorado Lottery website.|
|Florida||Partially||Winners of $250,000 or more||Eligible winners are exempt from public disclosure for 90 days after claiming their prize. Their specific address and phone number can remain confidential.|
|Georgia||Yes||Winners of $250,000 or more|
|Hawaii||Has no lottery|
|Illinois||Yes||Winners of $250,000 or more||Eligible winners can request to have their name and hometown confidential.|
|Kansas||Yes||Yes||Winner must request anonymity.|
|Kentucky||Yes||Sharing personal info is optional, but can be obtained through an open records request.|
|Maryland||Yes||Yes||No data published without consent.|
|Massachusetts||No||Winners may establish a trust to claim their winnings.|
|Michigan||Yes||Winners of more than $10,000||Winners of multi-state games such as Mega Millions can still be named publicly.|
|Minnesota||Yes||Winners of more than $10,000|
|Mississippi||Yes||Yes||No data published without consent.|
|Missouri||Yes||Yes||No data published without consent.|
|Montana||Yes||Yes||No data published without consent.|
|Nevada||Has no lottery|
|New Jersey||Yes||Yes||Winner must choose to remain anonymous.|
|Ohio||Yes||Winners of $100,000 or more|
|Oklahoma||No||Winners can establish a trust.|
|Tennessee||Yes||Sharing personal info is optional, but can be obtained through an open records request.|
|Texas||Yes||Winners of $1 million or more|
|Utah||Has no lottery|
|Virginia||Yes||Winners of $10 million or more|
|West Virginia||Yes||Winners of $1 million or more|
|Wyoming||Yes||Yes||No data published without consent.|