Can Powerball Winners Remain Anonymous

powerball winners remain anonymous

Maybe before you purchased your Powerball tickets, you daydreamed about living the affluent life of luxury after your grand prize win. Perhaps you imagined yourself lounging on the comfiest chair your body has ever experienced, while sipping on a delicious cool drink the maid just brought you poolside.

Life is very good. And then you do win, and your dream has become real. Great! But wait—it’s your long-forgotten Uncle Festus at the front door with his wife and twelve kids, eager to tell you about his fabulous business idea that absolutely cannot fail. He just needs about a half million dollars–or maybe a million would be better–to get the project started. Could you help him out? After all, he’s family. Unfortunately, Uncle Festus is followed within days by others with wonderful plans to help you get rich quick. Even though you already ARE rich, thanks to winning the Powerball lottery.

Wanting to Be an Anonymous Powerball Winner

Punctured dreams like the one just described make Powerball winners wish their wins were not publicized at all, anywhere. Sure, even if you won anonymously, at least some people notice you amped up your lifestyle considerably with vacations, a new house, new car, and so on. But if your win is anonymous, then old relatives, friends, and total strangers won’t read about you in the newspaper or hear about your amazing win on local radio or television programs. Because when this happens, many people consider you fair game for the latest and greatest sales pitch they can come up with.

Why Powerball Winners Are (Usually) Not Anonymous

If you bought your Powerball winning ticket in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, or South Carolina, then yes, you can remain anonymous. Other states with Powerball lotteries have considered, and rejected, the idea of anonymity for winners.

Most states with Powerball lotteries have laws mandating they must release the names of winners to the public. There is a good reason for this. The reason is nearly everyone loves seeing that Ms. Average or Mr. Homebody won the grand prize, and assume this means they could win too. Another reason is that showing there are actual winners debunks paranoid ideas that state officials keep all the ticket money, never awarding prizes.

More People Aware of Your Win Equals More Ticket Sales

There’s an important multiplier effect with publicity associated with someone winning major Powerball prizes This means the greater the number of people who see that you or someone else won really big, then the more at least some of these people will decide they need to buy Powerball tickets too. Of course, the odds are still about 1 in about 292 million that any one ticket is the winning one for the grand prize, and someone actually winning doesn’t change that probability. That ticket was the 1 in 292 million chances to win. But odds, schmods. It’s all about perception.

If You Win

Experts advise that people who win major prizes in the Powerball lottery should do the publicity, and get it over with. Get your hair cut, put on some nice clothes—or buy some, since you can afford them now, and smile nicely for the cameras. And when Uncle Festus and others come over, call you, email you, fax you or parachute into your back yard with the greatest idea since sliced bread (except it isn’t), politely but firmly say that two-letter word, beginning with the letter “n”—for no.