Wishing to Remain Anonymous After Winning the Lottery
Posted October 22nd, 2018 by Anthony Carbone, PC.
Categories: Legal Topics.
We all have fantasies about hitting the lottery, right? You can buy a new car, house, or pretty much whatever you want. Working may even become a thing of the past. As most of New Jersey has their eyes set on the $1.6 billion Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday night, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has some information you might want to know.
Winning the lottery doesn’t always mean a happy life. Aside from all your new assets, lawsuits, predators, and bankruptcy might soon follow. To prevent things like this from happening, the lucky winner might want to claim his or her winnings anonymously. However, that’s just not possible in New Jersey.
According to the New Jersey Lottery Commission, “a winner’s name, town, and county can be made available either through press release or through formal request for public records by any citizen or member of the media.” Anyone can be allowed access to a winner’s identity through a public records request.
When lottery jackpots swell to an enormous amount, people ask to remain anonymous to avoid the pitfalls of quickly coming into a massive amount of wealth. When approached about the subject of large lottery jackpots and anonymity, James Carey, the acting director of the state lottery commission, said: “The lottery is a very public game. We’re dealing with public money. And the public has the right to know who’s getting the money.”
If you looked into this topic before, you probably came across the option of claiming your jackpot in a trust or LLC. While you do have the option to do this, it doesn’t solve the issue of wishing to remain anonymous. The NJ Lottery Commission will still release the name of the winner regardless of how the winner claims their prize. In addition to the winners, the beneficiaries from the trust would have to be named as well.
The NJ Lottery Commission is required to identify who is receiving money so his or her taxes can be withheld and to confirm if the winner does not owe any back taxes. Back taxes are a term for taxes that weren’t completely paid off when they were originally due. The NJ Lottery Commission also needs to confirm if the winner does not owe child support arrearages, public assistance overpayments, or student loans.
If you do win, you might just attempt to withdraw from public life outright. Too bad. You cannot do that either in New Jersey. In fact, you’ll most likely have to show up for a press conference detailing your winnings; especially if you win the Mega Millions or Powerball. The only states that allow lottery winners to stay anonymous are Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone for Your Legal Needs
We may not be worth $1.6 billion, but you can’t put a price on justice. At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we will fight for you until you get the results you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.