Can you remain anonymous as a Powerball jackpot winner?

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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

Powerball players should consider what to do if they win, including making the decision whether or not to remain anonymous when collecting the Powerball jackpot.

Of all the most frequently asked questions about how to play and win Powerball, wondering about the option to remain anonymous comes up often. Of course, if you manage to match all the numbers to become a Powerball jackpot winner, it’s a life-changing experience that you’ll want to celebrate. But shouting from the rooftops about your winning ticket could present risks. And over the years, many Powerball winners have chosen to remain anonymous. The short answer is yes - but only if you reside in certain anonymity-protecting states. Here’s what today’s Powerball players need to know about staying anonymous should they become winners.

Each state governs its own anonymity policies

To know if you can remain anonymous with your Powerball jackpot win, start by looking into your state’s laws. Today, 18 states allow winners to collect their prizes anonymously. If you live in these states, you can come forward without providing your name to secure your cash.

  • Arizona: prizes over $100,000
  • Delaware: any prize
  • Georgia: prizes over $250,000
  • Illinois: prizes over $250,000
  • Kansas: any prize
  • Maryland: any prize
  • Michigan: prizes over $10,000 in state-run games only
  • Minnesota: prizes over $10,000
  • Mississippi: any prize
  • Missouri: any prize
  • Montana: any prize
  • New Jersey: any prize
  • North Dakota: any prize
  • South Carolina: any prize
  • Texas: prizes over $1 million
  • Virginia: prizes over $10 million
  • West Virginia: prizes over $1 million
  • Wyoming: any prize

Some states, including California, forbid winners from remaining anonymous, requiring everyone with a winning ticket to disclose their identities.

Potential risks that come with going public about your Powerball jackpot

As thrilling as it is to become a multi-million dollar Powerball winner, it can present certain risks. Publicly announcing your newfound wealth could make you a potential target for would-be criminals. In the most extreme cases, past Powerball winners have even fallen prey to violent crimes because of their publicity as millionaires. Other risks include:

  • Past jackpot winners almost always become victims of online scams.
  • Thieves perceive winners as cash-carrying targets.
  • Strangers and family members can manipulate winners.

Remaining anonymous with a trust

One popular way to keep your name out of the headlines is to claim your Powerball prize as the beneficiary of a trust. Check with your state to see if establishing a trust is allowed and have a trusted attorney guide your efforts in setting one up for purposes of claiming any prize money. There are several instances of past Powerball winners who set up trusts to successfully collect their prizes, without the publicity risks of being named.

Benefits of remaining anonymous with your winning Powerball ticket

If you find yourself holding a winning Powerball ticket, consider the benefits of remaining anonymous when collecting your prize. If you win in a state that allows anonymity, you can enjoy these benefits of flying under the radar:

  • Privacy protection
  • Personal safety
  • Avoiding unwanted solicitations
  • Managing relationships
  • Preserving normalcy
  • Avoiding social stigma
  • Financial planning
  • Personal freedom

Enjoy your Powerball-winning journey

If you purchase your ticket in a state where the decision is out of your hands, then there’s not much you can do about remaining anonymous. But if you purchase your ticket in a state where staying anonymous is an option, it’s a personal decision only you can make. It’s important to take the time you need to decide the best course of action to protect your identity, preserve your privacy, and maintain a sense of normalcy. Although the allure of fame, even short-lived, can be tempting, the peace that anonymity can bring is invaluable. Whichever road you choose, winning Powerball is your own journey to enjoy!

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