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Are Lottery Winners Required to Reveal Their Identities in NYC?

Posted in New York Law on April 12, 2024

Are Lottery Winners Required to Reveal Their Identities in NYC?

Once in a while, a lottery ticket holder takes home a jackpot. However, the excitement of hitting the jackpot is often accompanied by the daunting prospect of public exposure.

Many lottery winners grapple with the difficult decision of whether to reveal their identities or shield themselves from the spotlight. In this blog post, we delve into the legal landscape surrounding lottery winners’ privacy rights in New York City and why protecting one’s identity may be of paramount importance.

Why Might Lottery Winners Protect Their Identities?

Winning the lottery can be life-changing, but it also brings a myriad of challenges. One significant concern for lottery winners is the potential loss of privacy. Publicly disclosing one’s identity as a lottery winner can subject them to unwanted attention, solicitation, and even safety risks.

The New York Lottery does not disclose street addresses. However, we live in an age of unprecedented access to information and a technologically savvy society. Individuals have reason to fear that someone may be able to find their street addresses.

Public disclosure of their identities can not only harm lottery winners but also endanger their families. Maintaining anonymity can safeguard winners and their families from these unwanted intrusions, allowing them to enjoy their newfound wealth without undue interference.

What Are the Rules in New York State?

In New York State, lottery winners are generally required to disclose their identities as part of the public record. As the New York Lottery is a government agency, they have a duty to members of the public to disclose the winner.

Often, winners are required to attend a press event and participate in a public announcement that they have won. In addition, your name and city of residence may be public information.

However, there are certain exceptions and avenues for maintaining anonymity. For instance, winners can establish a trust or use legal entities to claim their prize on their behalf, thereby concealing their identity from the public eye.

Additionally, recent legislative efforts in New York have been made to provide lottery winners with greater privacy protections. The New York legislature has recognized the importance of safeguarding lottery winners’ identities. As of right now, the bill, Senate Bill S1807, has not yet passed. It is currently undergoing review in the New York State Senate.

One Powerball Winner’s Lawsuit to Stay Anonymous

In recent years, high-profile cases have spotlighted the issue of lottery winners seeking to remain anonymous.

One such case involved a 2018 New Hampshire Powerball winner who took legal action to protect her privacy rights. In New Hampshire, lottery winners are required to disclose their identity. This winner had signed the lottery ticket in her real name. Lottery officials refused to let her re-sign the ticket with the name of a trust.

Thus, she sued to shield her identity from public scrutiny. She was successful — the judge ruled that, despite signing her name, she could keep her name private.

However, if you aim to protect your identity, it is safest to sign in the name of your trust and avoid relying on such an outcome. In addition, making promises to share your winnings can undermine your ability to keep them private.

This case underscores the significance of privacy for lottery winners and the lengths they may go to maintain it.

Contact Our Law Firm in New York, NY to Understand Your Rights as a Lottery Winner

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600


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