Judge rules victor of $560M Powerball jackpot can stay anonymous

A winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Orleans for Saturday's drawing lottery officials said. It's worth $150,000

The woman won the Powerball drawing January 6 after buying the ticket at Reeds Ferry Market, a convenience store in Merrimack.

The mystery woman who won the almost $560 million Powerball jackpot in New Hampshire two months ago can remain anonymous, according to a Granite State judge who found her right to privacy outweighs any public interest in her identity.

"The Lottery Commission has a right to say the victor came from Merrimack, but everything else she is entitled to a right to privacy", said Attorney William Shaheen, in a statement.

Judge Charles Temple ruled that disclosing the woman's name would be an invasion of privacy and allowed her to be exempt from a state law which requires the release of a winner's name and hometown.

However, the commission argued that it was required to disclose her name and hometown as the information was already written on the ticket.

"If I told you she was ecstatic it would be an understatement", Shaheen said in an email to CNNMoney. The woman's lawyer, William Shaheen, said she is from Merrimack, 30 miles south of Concord.

"T$3 he court has no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications", Temple wrote.

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However, Temple noted that nothing in his order could be interpreted to prevent the lottery commission or its employees from "processing, maintaining, or accessing Ms. Doe's ticket in the normal course of business".

She was upset after learning she was giving up her anonymity by signing the ticket - something the lottery commission acknowledged isn't spelled out on the ticket, but is detailed on its website.

In a brief statement Monday, Charlie McIntyre, the New Hampshire Lottery's executive director, said the ruling surprised his agency. The state Attorney General's Office said the woman's name must be revealed because she signed the back of the ticket, USA Today reported.

The judge also rejected the lottery commission's argument that the woman's name should be revealed to assure the public she was a "bona fide" lottery participant and "real" victor.

Maura McCann, a spokeswoman for the Lottery Commission, said in an e-mail that the state couldn't release Doe's hometown Monday, since "the ruling is not yet a final decision, still subject to final review and appeal".

The woman is collecting a lump-sum cash prize of $352 million, which will get whittled down to $264 million after taxes.

Her lawyers said she intends to donate between $25m and $50m to charities during her lifetime.

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