Single Mega Millions Entry Wins $1.34 Billion As Jackpot Grows

Can a winner remain anonymous?

Each Mega Millions participating state oversees lottery operations within its jurisdiction, including sales, retailers, taxes owed and other financial liabilities. Laws, including whether winners’ names must be announced, differ between states.

In Illinois, winners of $250,000 or more can request to keep their name and residence anonymous when claiming their earnings. However, the information may still need to be disclosed if a public records request is submitted or if the Illinois Lottery is legally required to do so, the agency writes in its handbook.

Marie Kilbane of the Ohio Lottery said that in her state, that includes whether a winner owes child support. “Internally, we check who that person is,” he said. “With all our winners.”

Ohio is one of at least seven states that allow winners, who might be wary of fraud or becoming targets of crime, to hide their identities. Others include Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota and South Carolina. States differ under what conditions they allow winners to remain anonymous or whether they can collect on behalf of a trust, he said.

In Texas, a winner of $1 million or more can remain anonymous. In Arizona, winners of $100,000 or more can choose to remain anonymous, but their city and county of residence are not confidential. In California, the names of the winners are part of the public record. Some states, such as Michigan, do not allow a trust for multistate lotteries such as Mega Millions or Powerball.

Not every lottery winner has to show up at a press conference with a big smile, holding a giant fake check. Under its open records law, the Wisconsin Lottery releases the winner’s name and city upon request. All other information, including media interviews, is up to the winner.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *