Texas Lottery Winner's Identity Kept Secret

The state of Texas is hiding a lottery winner's identity, refusing to release the name of the winner of a $64 million drawing Feb. 8.

A press release published by the Texas Lottery Commission calls the winner "The AB Revocable Living Trust" as if that were the name of a corporate entity, but an A-B revocable living trust is a form of estate that minimizes estate taxes by splitting marital assets into separate shares for each partner.

I've never heard of a state lottery that would keep a winner's identity private. Releasing the names is the only way the public can be assured that the state isn't keeping the money, as I was told years ago by a Texas Lottery Commission spokesperson when I wrote a question-and-answer column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


They are not keeping the winner's ID private. The winner is the AB Revocable Living Trust. Texas law allows one and only entity to claim a winning lottery ticket, but allows an individual, trust, partnership or corporation to claim the ticket.

So if multiple people win, as probably happened here, they pretty much *have* to use a trust or similar entity to avoid being screwed.

Probably if you do win the lottery regardless of which state it is, even if your an individual winner, it'd be best to set up a trust and have the trust claim the prize.

First, it turns out that at least one state allows individual lottery winners to remain anonymous -- Delaware. Most states, though, classify the name (but usually not much more) of the lottery winner as public information; all states seem to allow trusts and other entities to claim lottery winnings.

Someone (or some group of people) won $265 million in the Mega Millions lottery in Ohio recently and used a trust to claim the prize without revealing the identities of anyone involved.

BTW, Rogers, isn't this a silly argument,

"Releasing the names is the only way the public can be assured that the state isn't keeping the money, as I was told years ago by a Texas Lottery Commission spokesperson when I wrote a question-and-answer column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram."

So I'm paranoid enough to think that the lottery is a scam. Nobody's really getting that money. The government's just keeping it.

Until I see a list that says:

John Doe won the lottery this week.
Jane Doe won it last week.

Riiight. Because the government wiley enough to set up a fake lottery scam wouldn't be able to come up with a couple of fake names? It seems to me you'd have to be pretty naive to be reassured simply by a list of names.

Hey, I gave a million dollars away last week. Don't believe me? Well, the names of the people I gave it to were John Smith and Bill Johnson. Convinced?

Which is not to say that the lottery is a scam, but I'm wondering why seeing a name would add any more legitimacy. Seeing a name, a picture, an address, a phone number -- that I or journalists could use to verify the winner, but just having a name seems close to no verification at all.

Yeah, keeping lottery winners names secret is definately legal in Ohio. Former resident and state civil service worker, so I can attest to it. ;)

In Ohio, you can set up a trust, turn the winning ticket over to a lawyer, and nobody will ever know who won that particular jackpot. It hasn't happened too often. I remember a win about 6 years ago (right before I moved here IIRC) that did that.

If I won it, that's certainly the way I'd do it too. The cousins (some that you know, others you never knew you had), the con artists, the charities...

Trust information is public information and can be obtained from the Secretary of State. One can find out who the Trustees are & an address as well as managing partners & president for LLC's. The Texas Lottery has to provide claim forms and copies of papers submitted by the winners if requested through Open Records. You may not know who the winner actually is but you will be able to contact someone who does know.

I really wonder about why people would go through so much work to find out who won. It's really no one's business but the winner. At least this is my opinion.
If I ever won money at the lottery (don't play so prob. never will) I would choose to be anonymous; it's just safer and smarter that way.


reading your article i most certainly agree that winners should have the option to dacide if they want to remain anonymous or not. when i win i would definitely have someone else to claim my winnings. i live in harlem and i would like to continue living somewhere in harlem. but
unfortunately i would be concerned with jealous people, kidnappers, and just anyone that may try to scheme or set me up for robbery.

I know if I won, I wouldn't want my name all over the place for some crazy people, charities, churches, investment firms, etc., to hound me for money or want to sell me something.

People need to have a certain amount of trust in the Lottery Commission that they are really paying the winnings to individuals, trusts, etc. I guarantee that he Internal Revenue will make sure that they are getting their cut from the winners.

I think anyone with an education knows that trusts, corporations, etc., are public information. Sometimes the owners and trustees are hidden under a maze of corporations, etc. to make it difficult for people to find out who the real owner is. As you pointed out the trustee doesn't have to tell you squat! So you wind up knowing nothing. I think the question is why does anyone give a crap who won unless they plan on harassing them.

Who wouldn't want their identity anon if they won the lottery? Look up the stats on prior lottery winners, and you'll see how many of them were pressured, scammed and stolen from, by strangers and family. When your name is announced as a winner, that allows every person with access to the television, newspaper and internet to know who you are and how much money you've just won. That's not only disconcerting, it's scary. The first thing I'd do on winning would be to hire an accountant; the second, a trust. Anything else seems unwise and unsafe.

Lottery winners should be able to claim the prize without giving out all that personal information. From what I've read most folks who win the lotto go broke because they can't say no to people who have found out they have won.

You can check those facts actually. Not only do they have old their extended families and old friends and accquantences coming at them but also all those pesky charities.

Most need to live off this money the rest of their lives because a lotto win changes everyone around you including employers and co workers... so no keeping your job is not an option.

If you win keep it as silent as possible, don't promise a dime to anyone. Invest it after a small spending slurgh to get it out of your system ala Brewster's Millions. If old friend's and family come around that were not there before you won tell them to take a walk. If charities contact you tell them where to stick it. Real Charities don't spend all that money seeking out donations..... that is a fact do the research on it. Ones the seek out donations are scams no matter how well known they are. Most charities only 2% of money collected goes to the thing they say it is going to... and Charities like PETA and HSUS none of it does it all goes back into raising more money. Do the research on that one if you don't believe me it just might surprize and offended you. HSUS took money to rescue dogs during Katerina but did not rescue one. Thus taking money away from legitimate rescues like the SPCA. Look it up.

If you win never pledge to a charity. One Lotto winner did that and could not fullfill the promise and then was sued by the charity imagine the nerve of that sick organization doing that.

Then there are all those idiots who think they can get 50k from you to pay off their credit card bills they ran up or buy their kid a car... so yeah really lotto winners should be given the option not to have their name and location pasted all over the media. Or they should make harassment of lotto winners illegal.

Seriously look up the mishaps of lotto winners and see the facts that so many have become bankrupt simply cos they can't say NO to all the mooches with their hands out.

If I had won the lottery I would not want my name to be announced and I have good reasons.

My folks sit around and dreams winning the lottery and how they would share it with everyone in their family and those on the family tree. I already know that is a bunch of bull.

So many times we sat in this circle and talk about the lottery and so many times I have had folks try to coax the next relative into saying that if they won the lottery that they would share it with them. Besides you didn't work for it you should be grand to share all of it.

The only problem is sharing isn't enough? Let's say you did win 50 million and you gave a few of your folks $100,000 a piece lets say in the whole group there is about 8 people. That isn't the way they want to see the money come to them. That want Equal share or more and god forbid if you know how to invest your money and they don't. They will still be holding their hand out for more besides it is just lottery money you did not earn it.

I have had my aunts, uncles, and cousins come at me telling me how much they would include me in their lottery winning and quite frankly I do not believe them. I already know that these people are pretty much back stabbers. I am real sure with 3 kids of their own and 8 grand children that they would be so graciously adding people outside their family unit sharing their lotto winnings. They have came around me so many times on how much they would share with me I just smile and try to brush the subject off. I know what they want, they want me to say awwwww, I would share with you too if I won.

I am not promising ANYTHING!!!!!

I already have $70,000 saved into a CD and my folks are already buzzing around wondering what I am planning to do with it. I have a few folks hinting around that they should be beneficiary of my CD account. OMG How gutsy!

Do you really think I will not choose to hide my name if I won the lottery? You bet a bottom dollar I will find a way to hide my name. At least long enough to move where I am living at because I already know the set of folks that is going to be on my door step with their hands out for an EQUAL SHARE + More!

Lotto winners have rights to keep their name private. I do not blame them. I am not even a lotto winner and I already know which set of folks thinks I owe them my blood regardless if they owe anything or not. They would let me know that since I am single and they have families to take care of that more of the money should go to them.

Yea right!

Nice family Terrah, I would also like to remain anonymous. I would also like to help a few, I say a very few friends and family. Charities are a joke not a one would get one red sent from me. Out side of the previous statement, if they want money, go to the bank and savings and loan branch I would open.

When I win (hee hee) and I plan on winning. I would like to keep my name anonamous, because I want the money for financial security. I will not change my living status. I don't think everyone would understand this, especially my 5 grown children. They would all have there hands out expecting their SHARE. I think they should learn lifes lessons just like I did. They need to learn responsibility and appreciation for what they have earned.

I got the number correct in the Lottery one time in 2005.

UNFORTUNATELY I decided against the numbers I had already placed on the playslip.


See I had a ridiculious hunch! And instead of going into all the details of what my ridiculious hunch was, that ridiculious hunch was correct but I doubted at the last second and went with other numbers.

My hunch was sort of crazy and the odds of it occuring were somewhat possible, but I felt it was too crazy and too ridiculious to occur.

My message to you as someone who got all 6 numbers correct but didnt win a dime is,

IF you ever have a ridiculous hunch go with it!

NO matter how ridiculious it is! No matter how much you think it wont happen! Do it anyhow!

If you dont have enough money to play your ridiculious hunch, ask a nieghbor, a friend, a co worker, anyone, steal it if you have to!

But just dont sit there when you KNOW that you KNOW that you KNOW your hunch is probably right and you know you are going to win the lottery! It's going to happen and you are going to win the lottery tonight! Get the money dont doubt!

Your numbers are coming up!

If you KNOW it, and the odds of it occuring are probably next to nothing but there is a good reason for it to occur ITS gonna happen!

Trust me! If you know it! It might be crazy but its gonna happen!


Definition of a real hunch is,

You dont know how you know it but its like you just do! And there is a little bit of some excitment like you've just discovered some secret no one else knows! Or see's

And remember what most people play isn't going to be the jackpot numbers!

Hey Larson, Dude I hope that you were just goofing around with that last post. If not and you were serious, my friend you need help. Come on guy, get frickin real! Steal the money to follow up on a hunch. That's crazy! I love to gamble and play the lottery darn near every pay day, but even a child has enough sense to know if you don't have the money, you just don't play. I feel bad for you that you didn't win. But it sounds like it was just not meant to be. As I stated earlier if it's that serious to you, you may want to consider quitting. I know what I'm talking about because my dad is a degenerate gambler. And because that, is why he's only seen my oldest child once once and has not yet seen my youngest. I don't mean to preach, but think about it man.
Best of Luck, Will B.Rich

In response to Mr. Cadenhead remarks about lottery winners name being matter of public record, most financial advisory professionals (at least the ones that I feel know what the heck talking about) almost always recommend keeping your identity secret if win the lottery. Now granted the "gurus" you see on TV. Like the lady on CNBC (her name escapes me right now) generally won't even broach the subject. Usually because their shilling for some type of fund or stock. It's really only makes sense when you think about it. I strongly believe that the reason most winners don't do so, is because they probably don't know how to go about setting up a trust or even how to maintain their animinoty.

Some states will allow an entity (trust, corporation, etc.) to claim the prize, and some states require that an individual claim it. If you can claim it anonymously, that's the way to go...as others have said, if your name gets out you'll have a bunch of new best friends.

If you win, best thing to do is find the best lawyer, accountant and financial planner you can. Listen to what they have to say about your situation. If you don't understand what they are saying, ask them to explain. Invest for growth and income and live within that income, just like you did when you were working, and make sure any charitable gifts come from that monthly budget.

One other thing - corporations are public record, trusts are not. If you set up a trust, no one has access to it except you and your attorney - that's why they are a great financial planning tool that can be used to bypass probate when someone dies. Their assets and wishes are completely private

I like the last information given on what to do when you win the lottery.
I for one would like to know more. Why use an FEIN number when collecting the winnings?

I would do anything to keep my ID anon. if i win the lotto.
It's a smart thing to do.

I would only want to keep my name anon. for the first month or so. If I won 50mil cash after taxes, I'd give away about 10mil to my closest friends and closest family. I'd have everyone I just gave money to, give me a name of one charity and donate 100k to each charity they name. Give a 100k to a few churches also, since there are a few different ones that my family attends. I'd then buy a house in either Hollywood or Vegas and have my friends move in with me.

Once I've setup investments for my friends and family, then I wouldn't mind my name being public.

I would try to work out something with the lottery commission on keeping my name private until I have everything in place, then once everything I had planned comes into action, my name being public doesn't matter anymore since everything I had hoped to do was accomplished.

I realize that if my name was made public, it may or may not detract me from the goal I would try to achieve, but nonetheless, if you can't deal with the pressure then that's your own fault.

If you create a plan before you even try and claim the prize, then all you need to do is stick to the plan and avoid any and all outsiders who may try and sway you from what you want to do.

Write it out with an accountant, put it on paper and as each person you have on the list is taken care of, move onto the next person and so forth. You've never hung up on a tele-marketer?? What would be so hard about hanging up on someone who is from a charity you never heard of and/or never planned to give money to??

All I know is, if I was lucky enough to come across that kind of money, then everyone who has been supportive of me my whole life and has been there for me should be just as lucky as I was.

Keeping my name anon. should not deviate me or anyone else from that, but I'd rather not be hasseled in the beginning as I'm trying to setup everything, it'll just slow down the process. But if the lottery commission can't allow my name to be private, then I'll have to deal with the added phone calls and extra pressures, but again, if I stick to my plan, then the extra pop-ups are nothing but things that slow down the giving process.

My parents won the lotto in 2003 they were in a group of 6 that won and the same thing happened they made a trust 1) to be anonymous and 2) so each person pays the right amount in taxes

Now, I sat here and read every comments all the way down to mine. Most posters here got it right: Remain Anonmyous. Get yourself a trust and claim your winnings through that. Any jackpot winnings is a life-changing event. Great wealth comes with great responsibility.

It make absolutely no sense to go public. You'll be seting yourself up for an unforseen disaster. Indeed, it can be hauntly scary if everyone knows you won. Sensibility will tell you to keep your mouth shut and be humble.

Meanwhile, you should already have a financial team assembled BEFORE YOU CASH IN YOUR TICKET. Too many winners have gone broke in a very short time. That is embarassing and perhaps the worst feeling beside death, itself.

With a financial plan----a team of qualified CPA/Financial advisors, can set the right investment for you to nurture and grow your winnings into an even bigger financial prosperity. Winning the lottery is simply a BOOST. Investing the money is the real deal. And time-on-hand to pursue your dreams, is the way to go. Have some responsibility and live like a winner, folks.

1. The $64 million dollar jackpot occurred after approximately 30 rollovers in February 2006.

2. The retailer (and receipient of $500,000 from the TLC) who sold the winning ticket in the Heights area of Houston reported his lotto machines were down most of the day.

3. Area news reporters who attempted to contact the store owner the following day were told the store had closed indefinitely.

4. The winner of the $64 million failed to come forward for over 90 days.

5. The Texas Lottery received an open records request regarding the status of the $64 million dollar winner from an attorney in May 2006.

6. The following day an announcement was made by the Texas Lottery that the AB Revocable Trust won the jackpot. No other disclosure information was provided.

7. The attorney representing the AB Revocable Trust was allegedly associated professionally with former attorney and current executive director of the lottery while employed in Houston.

8. The attorney general denied a request for information release of the trust ownership records citing privacy issues.

9. This was the first time in Texas Lottery history that a "blind trust" accepted a jackpot award.

10. State law does not prohibit family members of Texas Lottery employees from winning jackpots or other lottery prizes as long as the family member does not reside with the TX Lottery employee.

11. Other than the 2 lottery commissioners and a reveiw by a public accounting firm there is little to no governmental or private oversight of the Texas Lottery.

12. The 2007 $70+million dollar jackpot winner was claimed in the form of limited partnership managed by a limited liability company.

13. The names of the two most current jackpot winners are still not being reported by the TX Lottery.

14. Most states require minimal disclosure including the winner's name and city of residence. Ohio is one state which does not require such disclosure. However, Ohio, like most states are governed by a Lottey Board of Directors or Commission of 6 to 12 members from various public sector positions.

Please add any additional relevant facts.

This has been the most helpful and uplifting site that I have seen on the subject of keeping your name private. I did just that. Now, I, who has never committed a crime, charged with CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION.
I found a small quite town to live. Never thought I would go through anything so humiliating. Caged like an animal for what I call myself.
The hate from those minimum wage workers was cruel and unusual punishment. I totally understand the remaining silent thing. I was screaming and crying trying to explain. I used the common law name change because I was just buying time before it goes into the court records, but morbid curiosity beat me to it. Some people started questioning "how I get money". Long story short, it made the rounds until it got to a nosy police. He decided to use his position to get my private information from me. It was hell. They just took all the GOOD stuff from me. I feel lower than a snake's belly. The lawyer double crossed me. He will not even communicate with me. He took my money as if he deserves it. I believe he is mad that he did not charge me more. Now, I wish I had never ruined my nice peaceful life.
The joy of not worrying about finances again has been replaced with panic attacks, zero sleep and the silent treatment. Now, everything is reference to money. People make statements like... "I work for mine" or "I have to work for mine" or they make it known how they feel through non-verbal actions...throwing my change to me, refusing to bag my purchase or throw it in the bag roughly just to make a point. many
packages of smashed bread :( It was so nice before I was void of my privacy. A very small town. It spread like crazy. People talk about it in my presence to each other as if I am not there. Now, that the veil has been lifted off my privacy it is not that warm fuzzy feeling anymore. I am a recluse, isolated and [for the first time] feeling lonely. No more joy. Can live comfortable, but can't enjoy.
Sad and in horrible physical pain from all the worry. Hair falling out in clumps. My attempt for privacy and security has turned everything into a nightmare. That police was not a fluke. He was armed with all the questions that I had heard from lay people, but I was always able to change the subject or give some quick retort with them. He lit into me with questions like "how you get money?" accused me of selling drugs; just goating me. It turned into a circus. I was treated and talked to like an animal. Jealousy and indifference. The begging and hinting around for money is so weird and foreign to me because I was without for so long. Now, I am being handed cards for real estate, cars being bought by people who have little means to make the payments, but feel they know where to get the money. I have been followed, attempted robbery and the challege to fight! I tried to remain anonymous and live just a peaceful quite life by keeping a private existence. Now, look what it has gotten me. The police said, repeatedly, "We don't know who you are". The "we" being nosy people who want to violate other's privacy. I didn't commit a crime. Isn't privacy a protected right, anyway? MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING!

The last thing I would want as a lottery winner is for you idiots to have my name. Go back to work you little people!

I came from England a while ago and played the lottery there.
It was the same type of lottery - 6 numbers from 49 - and you win.

But you get all the money that week...not 5 weeks later..and have to choose it all at once halved, or over 20 years but all that week and no taxes..you win 20 million (pounds not dollars) and you get 20 million and one more thing, you are garenteed privacy if you want it, so ofcourse you want it, well some do.

But as i was there from the biginning of the lottery over there i became interested in it as a subject matter and started to tape reports of winners and later buy books of lottery winners stories, of public winners and private winners...written by the lottery workers who would contact the winners to help them through the win whilst giving them the ability to remain private if they wished.

Some wished and others wanted the fame as they had wished to be famous and the win would garentee it, but some fate isnt as good as it seems.

some who went public had hatred, jealousy, and people so unable to understand them now that close friends didnt know what to do around them, they couldnt goto party's because those they gave presents to were uncomfortable with the size of them, (did small mean they didnt care, did big mean they were showing off their wealth), every time they went out with friends they felt they should pay the bill but the people who went out with them thought they were either showing off wealth again or that others were seeing them as leaches, it is as much a problem for those who win as those who know those who win

it is his or her right to kept secrect.

Kansas protects winners' privacy, too.

I want to know what the policy is in KY concerning powerball winners, and thier identity.

Can corporations claim tickets for winner and shield the individual from public scrutiny?

I read two posts up about that guy in the small town, about how people don't treat him as right as they should. before he apparrently won. That's sad that the STATE will rip away your identity if you win just so you could claim the cash. It's wrong. In the age of ID theft, this practice should be discouraged, or rather the practice of claiming in a trust or coporate entity should be the norm instead of the exception.

I understand about the potential of Lottery Company folks cheating using that practice, but more often than not it is normal players that win that get hurt in the process.

We should not treat this like a problem that the winner deserves to have foisted upon them because they, in some people's eyes, "commited sin" for buying that ticket and gambling. Why are we punishing winners? For what? so that the people who did not win that played or even the people who dont win and dont play can throw stones?

sounds like my husband or soon to be ex nothing would surprise me

"Keep it under yer hat" works better in Texas, fer some reason.

Be Well.

I am glad who ever won the lottery keep the name secret cause hitting the lottery is great but it is a homocide waiting to happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many of you crying about 'keeping secret' who won are fools.

People have a right to privacy whether they win or not.
Setting up a trust is the best way to do this.

Reality is, The government cant in fact setup most of the trusts that you or I would/could.. IN fact in some cases if the state did setup some of these trusts, they would be breaking most state laws and many federal laws...

Some of the socalled info about 'illegal accitvities of lottery officials or associations... is in fact bogus information.

Btw, of all the major 'big' winners (POWERBALL)... only 1-4 of them are actualy doing ok...all private and unknown... many of the others are broke or constatnly fighting to keep the money.

One reason to go 'trust' is simply to protect the funds and self from both government and criminals.


1. I believe that lottery winners from any state, should be given a pin number like at a bank, to be used as a public identifier. We live in Oregon--at state that rats out anyone to everyone---for a price.

2. It takes a lot of clever actions to remain un-stalked here.

I found everyone's post interesting. All of you provide very insightful answers on how to handle a person's lottery winnings. If I won the lottery (clich, yes), I'd force myself to not waste it all in one year. For example, for my birthday several months ago, I received $13,000 from my parents and traveled to a few places around the world - and of course, I enjoyed myself to a certain extent. After my little spending spree, I felt bad months later when I needed the money to pay off school. On top of that, I'm going to China next month. Don't worry, I'm still able to pay for my school and China, but that $13,000 would've helped me a lot now. Maybe I'd be happier if I knew earlier on in my life that: If I were to get myself into a difficult financial situation, then I should have money saved up just in case.

I'm sure that the only person I'd share my winnings with would be my mother. Because we all have someone we trust, so I'd say it'd be her. She is a sweet and honest woman. Therefore, I wouldn't share it with my friends, relatives - no one. The nice thing is that my mom only wants the simple things in life: a house and a large storage to keep all of our junk. So, basically, just enough to get by.

You have to be an individual with a strong will, able to resist temptation. You must also understand the nature of how people are now-a-days. It's always the "easy way out". That's why people will ask you for large sums of money and discriminate against you if you don't give it to them.

I went to see my relatives a year ago with that $13,000. When I paid for their kids' schools, they thought then that I was some wealthy man. So, they started asking me to buy them all these luxurious things when I only wanted to help pay for their children's education. Although I ONLY HAD $13,000 to spend, I know how it feels. To me, that's a lot, seriously. So, losing it hurts, but realizing that your relatives are backstabbing jerks hurts even more.

Furthermore, you should have seen the expression of our representative's face when my mom and I went to our local bank a few days ago. I noticed her fake smile when she talked to us about depositing money from my mom's account into mine (she had looked up her account and saw how much she had). Later, when I walked over to the front desk to deposit a check, I turned around for some reason and - to my surprise - I saw her scolding at me. She looked as if she wanted to set me ablaze with her ugly eyes. Yes, she is a jealous person, obviously. So, I know how immature she is and what she'd do if she could do what she was thinking. Make sense?

Thanks to all of you for your posts. You've helped me come to this realization that the people around me are not trustworthy. People are easily jealous of those who have what they desire.

Therefore, respecting an individual's privacy should be the utmost concern. We don't want to live a life where people discriminate, rob, and ridicule us. No, we want to live happily and carefree. So, I respect the decision of those individuals who wish to remain anonymous. It's only logical. As humans, we are afraid of the imperfections of other people's evil nature.

PS - Your mother and father are perhaps the only people you can ever trust with money and life. Well, that's for me anyways. I don't know if it's the same for all of you. Take care and best of luck.

For those of you who would start spreading around the wealth to friends and family, see a tax advisor first. After the first $1 Million you give away, you would have to pay the government $450,000 for the privilege of giving the next $1 Million away, and so on. This tax is on money that you have already paid 35% federal income taxes on, by the way. That is a total of 80% in taxes if you want to give away a lot - this is even higher if you add state and local income taxes.

The 45% tax I am referring to comes from the transfer tax system we have in the U.S., i.e. estate taxes and gift taxes. Most people are not aware of these taxes because they don't give away enough money to be subject to them.

Here are the current rules:
Gifts After Death: Estate Taxes ("Death Tax") - any amount you pass on in excess of $2 Million is subject to a 45% estate tax. Amounts given to IRS approved charitable organizations are exempt from estate taxes, regardless of the dollar amount.

Gifts during life: Gift Taxes - If you give away more than a total of $1 Million during your life, the amount over $1 Million is subject to a gift tax of 45%. Also, even though you would not pay gift taxes on the first $1 Million, if you gave away up to the first million, your estate tax exemption would be reduced dollar for dollar. Additionally, an individual can give away up to $12,000 to another individual free of gift taxes and also not dip into the $1 Million lifetime limit - they can give this to as many individuals per year as they would like. Charitable gifts are also exempted from this lifetime tax.

The reason that the IRS imposes a gift tax is to protect their revenue that comes from the estate tax - So that the wealthy do not make deathbed transfers by giving away all their money to others and have nothing left in their estate for the government to collect death taxes on.

I wouldn't want the public to know my name, so the best way to collect is by having a Trust set up, and not letting anyone know your identity.

I would like to know if pennsylvania is a state one can remain anonymous. or any or all of the states that have anonymity.why and how is it legal for the government to recieve any of these winnings if someone has truelly won fairly. Why hasn't some fancy, intelligent, on fire lawyer,with a cause to challenge the government on this issue of receiving half of the earning of a winner. this dosn't seem right,that they receive all this and you are the one who won.I can see the 7percent on dollar,but nothing more.

can anyone tell me if one is married how and separated from your spouse and you win the powerball or megamillions or any large sum of winnings, what is the other spouse entitled to? How is this handled? Is the estranged spouse entitled to anything eventhough you live in separate homes? or a different state even? Thank you for all of your advice concerning the lottery it's been very helpful and eyeopening to the pitfalls of just putting a few dollars on a ticket. I would appreciate the research on this question, thanks again.

Lynn, they probably are entitled to half if you're still legally married. If in the off chance you hit that 1 in 175 million ticket, you may want to speak to a lawyer. Otherwise, you probably be shouldn't be too concerned about it. Just get the divorce over with. (Of course if he wins, you'd probably still want to be married)

Okay this was all quite good. Recently I have become a little interested in the lotto after watching the 'E' network do a segment called Lottery Nightmares. A lot of reasons people lose all the money within five years can be stupidity but a lot of it is something we all can do. Anyway I read other horror stories online and this is what happens when you chose NOT to remain anon.
One man had friends/relatives and strangers come to his front door at all hours looking for handouts. When he refused, they would throw rocks in his window and later he moved out.
One man was contacted by every single relative he never knew he had in addition to girlfriends he had dated in high school from nearly fourty years ago.
One woman's kids were threatened with a kidnap from school if she did not fork over money into some hideout. The kidnapping never happened but it shows what length people will go to.
Jack Whittaker. Just look him up online. He is the largest single winning lotto player ever. Because of the endless amounts of millions he had on hand he would eventually lose his grandaughter and her friend in a drug overdose. He gave his granddaughter new cars all the time and wads of cash.
One man had a contract out on his life by his family. They felt that if he died, his millions would be theirs.
Family members that want you to 'help' them in investments that they dreamed of. Opening up businesses they knew nothing about only to have them go out of business.
One man told of the endless hours of ringing the phone would do daily. Despite changing it and unlisting himself, people found his phone number. He received phone calls and letters twenty four seven looking for handouts. People begging him to pay off their mortgage or buy them a new car or new stereo. The worst he said was from charities who got nasty on the phone and investment companies. In addition he added were the 'companies' that wanted to 'buy out' his lotto contract. Eventually he got rid of the phone.
One man won multi millions and was swarmed with young women who suddenly found him attractive. He ditched the wife of twenty years for a young girl and then realized she only wanted one thing , his money. His wife didn't take him back and he sunk into depression and ended his life two years after the winnings.
Foolish investing. The first big investment mistake is buying a big home. Winners don't realize that this is a one time win while maintaining a big home is a lifetime payment. Can you afford to keep the home up when the lotto winnings are gone? If the answer is no, then the home is beyond your means already.
Good stuff to read.

To add...I don't know what the laws are in Massachusettes but I would NEVER disclose personal info of any sort. Honestly, after reading what some people go through after the world knowing they won...it is not worth it.
The advice one lawyer gave was best...set up a trust. The trust collects the check. Put the money into a DFZ account (decision free zone) for six mos. She stated that most lotto winners make their biggest flops in six mos. If you DO NOT spend it for six mos. you will have that time to let the surrealness be replaced with real. Hopefully your head will be cleared to spend wisely.
Some of the spending that causes lotto winners to lose millions in a few short years? The biggest is gambling. Most lotto winners are heavy gamblers. Most lotto winners that lost their money quick lost it in casino. The other is drugs. After that is the foolish stuff like mansions/Italian cars/airplanes/tractor trailers/yachts. People tend to buy things they never wanted in the first place, just because they can.
I always wondered how that one winner went through nearly TWO HUNDRED million dollars in just three or four years. He gambled most of it away.

If you win the lottery KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!

There are whole legions of scam artists who feel that they have the right to your money. As mentioned above, create a dummy company that is owned by another dummy company (in another state), that goes thru a third and a fourth etc. For good measure, toss it to an off shore company (in the Caymen's possibly?)

Make these creeps work for the info. Each time they send a request, there is a fee involved. You could ultimately link it back to a company in Vegas or Delaware where a corporate agent holds the records. (Not expensive to do, a lot of mail forwarding services offer this as an additional service.)

As for the comments about family above, I agree -- don't say anything! My concern is a fairly greedy spouse of my sister's child. This minx would try to have her mother committed if she thought she could get a buck from it.

There is another consideration. If money is handed out to kids, they don't develop the work ethic needed in our society. Look at the Beverly Hills brat pack you see on the tv news. Kids need t6o learn to make a living and work hard.

So that's my take. Now, have you all purchased your Mega Millions tickets? 194 million cash payout is a nice chunk of change. Of course every scam artist in the world will be on the hunt for you if you win, but that's a problem I can deal with.

I agree with the state of texas. I don't think its none of the press business to know the identity of a lottery winner. If i was a winner I would like my identity to be kept a secret for safe purposes.

great advice about trusts.

quick question, though: what type of lawyer, specifically, would you want to retain if you won the lottery and wanted to set up a trust? a tax lawyer, perhaps? or would you want another type of lawyer specializing in a different field? if so, what type?

not that i'll ever win the lottery (or even play outside of the occasional really huge jackpot), but all this talk about retaining various professionals to guide you and protect your privacy has made me curious about what type of lawyer you'd need.

i'd assume you'd need a good accountant in addition to a lawyer, right? any other professionals?

For the guy who was terrorized in the small town, I do feel sorry for you, I really do, but why would you move to a small town where everyone knows everything about each other??

I'd move to a wealthy neighborhood where money doesn't stand out like a sore thumb. Moving to a place where people constantly would question how and where you got your money is foolish to me.

What could you accomplish there or buy there that WOULDN'T attract attention?? You couldn't just buy the most expensive house and not have people ask if you're rich. You couldn't buy an expensive car or have expensive items in your house without questions arising. You couldn't travel on vacations all year long because people would ask where you get the money to do such a thing. Not working would raise the biggest flag and I highly doubt you were humping a normal 9-5 at a local business, so of course people become suspicious.

You basically put yourself in a bad spot where anything you did that differs from the norm can and will be scrutinized. That's why if I'd win, I'd move to a wealthy neighborhood, Beverly Hills, Vegas, Hollywood, Hamptons, Miami Beach..etc..

It allows for you to live a somewhat luxurious lifestyle without people breathing down your neck, constantly wondering how you came across your wealth. That's because you won't be the only rich person on your block, and that will make the attention burden go away rather than attract nosy neighbors.

Again, I really do feel sorry for you because your intentions were good and they were taken advantage of, but you put yourself in that situation of trying to hide the person you are. I realize not everyone wants or feels the need to live in a big mansion and own beautiful things, I realize that. But in the long run, it'd make your life easier since your tax bracket now fits your lifestyle which raises less suspicion.

And not only would it ease the burden, you could actually invest money in real estate and claim your wealth off businesses and so forth, thus creating even less attention, because now you have a legitimate reason why you're wealthy.

That's why I wouldn't shy away from the wealth, if you embrace it, people will be less suspicious, since you are living exactly like they are. People don't question their own motives, so if you fit naturally, they most likely won't question yours.

Why even bother wasting your money in the first place? You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times. Take the money and invest it.

I was the winner of a smaller jackpot several years ago, so I can speak from experience. When I say "smaller", I mean not one of those big newsworthy jackpots, but still quite nice.

I did not even know about it for a week. I was in the store and there was a big sign on the door that said, "Check your powerball tickets!" I stll didn't think that much about it but I went ahead and checked the ticket and it was a winner. I checked it about 10 times and then I went on-line and checked it again about 10 times.

Anyway....to get to the point, when I contacted the state lottery commission they put me through to the director, a very nice woman who was ulta-helpful. She was the one who urged me to consider remaining anonymous for many of the reasons others have commented on above. I used a recommended attorney who had done this previously for a much larger winner. We set up an enduring trust, the trust collected the funds, the funds were deposited, and once they were deposited and only then did I have any access. I invested almost all of the proceeds into highly diversified investments on the advice of my lawyer. I had some scam artists try to get my name but they met a brick wall in my attorney, who continues to receive a retainer every year as long as she keeps my name private. She handles much of my mail and other paperwork and this also keeps me at arms length from the scammers and beggers.

One important point I would like to make. Even attorneys can be crooks. Don't just run out to an attorney, check them out carefully. If your attorney could steal $20 million and hide in the Caymans for the rest of their life, some would do it and risk disbarment. The first thing I did was check the attorney out completely, and I also came up with some tricky security for my ticket that prevented anyone, including the lawyer, from claiming it. I'm sorry, but sometimes you have to think like the thieves that are out there.

So to make a short story long, anonymous is the only way to go, and a trust will work with almost any lottery commission. The way to guarantee that you remain anonymous is to set up a sliding fee scale with your attorney --- the attorney gets a base sum for a fee, and there is an additional fee (nice) that is paid annually as as long as your name remains 100% anonymous. This will keep your attorney working hard to protect your identity.

JKL, congratulations on protecting your privacy. However, once you have your trust set up and claim your lottery winnings, why do you need to bother with the lawyer anymore? Your name should be confidential to him as a matter of the client/attorney relationship not a conditional point requiring future payments to preserve it. Am I wrong about this? I'm not familiar in these matters specifically, but maybe you need another lawyer to advise you on dealing with lawyers. I think I would.

Incidentally, Are you comfortable in stating what fees you paid to get your trust done and retainer?

If anyone out there wins the lottery for any kind of substantial money--KEEP ANONYMOUS, PLEASE!!!! I am in agreement with so many previous people commenting on this article, saying that winners' identities should be kept private. I would NEVER GIVE MY NAME OUT if I won the lottery, and I would fight like crazy with lottery officials to prevent it from getting out! I have a husband and step-children, and am expecting a child shortly. NO WAY would I want my privacy destroyed, and potentially have my children and husband put in harms way because of crazy fools out to get my money (that includes real and imagined friends, relatives, outside agencies, charities, and pests in general!) People come out of the woodwork like ROACHES after someone wins millions. It's crazy, and it's sad. I DON'T NEED THE HASSLE, and neither does any other potential lottery winner.

I have a plan for my wiinnings of $26 mil. I receive one time payout of 5.5 mil after taxes. I am paying off balance on my house. I am planning to pay other debts of 70,000. car, creditcards, home equity etc. Be totally debtfree. Then I am putting $1 mil in 6 mo, 1 yr. 2 yr. CDs, once mature use them for living expences. I believe without debt expenses would be food, gas, utilities, travel and taxes. $3000.00 per mo.40,000 per year. $1 mil.would cover 25 years. Balance of 3.5 mil will be invested in 30 yr. t-bonds which will give me additional 2% or $ 70000 per year after taxes. Within 6 months I may quit my job. Charities freinds etc. will come little later. Let me know what you think about this plan.

Sure, pay off all debts. You may want the mortgage to stay for tax deduction purposes, but its no biggie. I would recommend putting the balance in a 6 month CD or money market just to keep it out of reach while you settle in to your new found wealth. Too much too soon can be a problem. Afterwards, I'd split the balance into either 5 or 10 year notes (difference between these and 30 years is not much) the rest I would put into high yield dividend stocks so you get the dividend and stock appreciation over the long term. I would find a job or vocation that interests you. Don't lay idle, its not a good thing for too long. Stay busy.

I share Paul's quick question from last month. What type of lawyer, specifically, would I want to retain if I won the lottery and wanted to set up a trust? a tax lawyer? I see commercials on t.v. from annuities attorneys. Are they specialists in this area? Is anyone?

There needs to be a good accountant in addition to some sort of lawyer. I think someone suggested an investment counselor, any other professionals? It seems to me there should be some type of person that could keep track of all the numbers that could be paid a monthly salary + a % of any misappropriated or missing funds discovered if others are handling all your money on your behalf.

It seems curious to me that JLK had a lawyer referred to her by the agency. In my dealings with government, they go out of their way to make no recommendations, validations or endorsements of any kind. I wonder how it came to be, in her state, that they made an exception to this rule.

I wonder, what is really the reason for knowing who won the the lottery? Is it so you too may beg, and adding to their headache. Perhaps you may want to do them some harm or, find a way to scam a couple of dollars away for yourself. Think to yourself, if it was me would i want all the beggers and bums trying to find me not to mentions the theives and murders. No Way, i say let them keep their identity. One day it may be you and by chance if it was me i would want to keep my identity.

i once came into a large sum of money and deposited about $40,000 in my bank account. as soon as the week ended, i was flooded with LOTS OF MAIL INVITING ME TO THIS AND THAT AND SAYING I SHOULD INVEST IN THIS AND THAT. so, no matter how 'private' one thinks they are being, as soon as you pass as little as $1,000 from one public place to another, EVERYONE knows! money is PUBLIC information so no matter how much you seal your identity if winning a lotto, 'they' will know your name, address, bank[s] and will solicit you accordingly. nothing is sacred out there, my friends, nothing :(

as far as the types of consultants, i don't believe you need a team of more than three to handle your wealth .. try to do double agents such as:

Tax Attorney - master accountant/IRS issues
Estate Attorney - for your Trust and properties
Wealth manager - an international Attorney [Switzerland preferred]

these are all you'll ever need - i have a friend that one and this is what he did and 14years later, is living as if he just one yesterday!! - the key was INVESTING 1/3 of whatever his winnings were into any and everything - cd's, money markets, some stocks - then 1/2 of the remaining is in a Swiss banque .. no one talks about that one :) so, he says he acts as if that one is not even there .. the remaining is what he actually lives on .. modestly, i believe about $320,009 a year .. he's not religious so no church or charities could sucker him BUT he does go and see where there are needs and buys supplies as opposed to giving money .. oh, I should mention, for a small fee, he was able to get a fountain at his alma marta with his name on it .. he says - something to show the grandkids .. I think his was a brilliant idea and if I should ever be so lucky, I am following his blue-print AS IS. thank you very much :)

Here's what your up against if you win the Mega Million jackpot in the state of Virginia.

Can I remain anonymous when I claim my lottery winnings? General

"No! Winners often ask if they can claim Lottery prizes anonymously. Virginia state law stipulates that a person must claim a prize; winners cannot claim a Virginia Lottery prize with a limited liability company or a trust, for example. In addition, the claimant's name, hometown and prize are public record and are released to the media (usually for prizes $100,000 and up). Winners also agree to allow the Lottery use of their photo for reasonable publicity. News releases, often with photographs, are displayed on the Lottery`s Web site. For some jackpots and for some Scratcher prizes, game rules require the winner or winners to appear at a news conference held by the Lottery.

Virginia Lottery prizes are provided by the public (people who play the games); it is important to disclose where prizes go. All expenditures made by the Virginia Lottery must be made public. A winner`s private information (telephone number, street address, Social Security number, etc.) is protected by law and will not be released."

Thanks very much to the anonymous info from 8/20/07 about the Gift Tax and Estate Tax to watch out for. Very timely advice since I plan on giving away large amounts of money to family and friends and I want to set up a scholarship program for disadvantaged 'A' students.. and so forth. I no longer believe giving money straight to charity organizations is the way to go at all; that includes giving to our Uncle Sam...Hey wait!... He already took his chunk!...Oh well.

By the way, a piece of advice I came across which I thought was very basic but still managed to create controversy for past lotto winners: GET YOUR OWN TICKET OR TICKETS, WITH YOUR OWN MONEY. DO NOT BORROW FROM YOUR FRIEND. God forbid you hold the winning ticket and you bought it with the dollar your friend lent you and you did not repay him yet!! Just think of the ramifications of this.... He would think he is entitled to 100% of it, at a minimum HALF! What is fair?! Just get your own winning ticket and avoid at least this problematic circumstance... Definitely have a Cool name Trust set up. Peace

I have been reading tons of lotto horror stories. It's true that whatever problems you have before become amplified with the money. Most of the winners think that they can do whatever they want because they're rich. If you wouldn't have done it before, why the hell are you doing it now???

I certainly wouldn't tell anyone if I had won. There are tons of ways to "prove" that you didn't. I'd keep my same checking account and deposit money into it like a regular paycheck and I'd keep the statement ready just in case someone found out I had won. Then I'd say, "Look at my bank statement. I have 2k in checking and 1,000 in savings. Does that look like a lottery winner to you?" LoL

And who's to say that I didn't have an online business that is finally taking off, and that is why I can afford a little bit bigger house and buy a few things? That is one mistake that winners make: they spend it all on lavish crap that screams "money".

I'd buy a little bit bigger house with a few acres, pay off my student loan and my car. I wouldn't buy a HUGE house, just big enough for us because we can always add on later if we need to, that way nothing would look too obvious. Then I'd decorate my house with new furniture (which I'd probably buy at Wal-Mart or a local furniture store LoL) and sit on the money. I really don't understand why people lose it all, sheer stupidity I suppose.

Think about it: You win the lottery and have 5 million after taxes. If you put that in savings, preferably at a bank that will give you 6% interest, you're looking at 300k a YEAR in interest alone. Break that down to 25k a month and 6,250 a week. Who couldn't live off of that? I wouldn't hand out money- I'd donate small sums to charities incognito of course, ha ha ha.

Once you buy a house, a new car and decorate the house with new furniture and such, what else could you possibly need? You can only buy so much before there isn't anything you need. My husband and I have decided that if we ever won, we'd each get 10k and just blow it on absolutely nothing. That way it would be out of our system and then we'd save the rest. I'd just like to be able to have my husband quit his job and spend time with me and the kids, not because I want new friends or crave the limelight.

A friend of mines parents are millionaires, but the money skips a generation. James won't get a penny, but the money goes to his kids when they turn 30. Their kids won't get anything, but their grandkids will. There are lawyers and advisors set up to take care of it so they don't spend it all, there is a certain amount they can spend per year. I think it's a great way to keep the money going in your family. I don't know all of the exact details, but that is what James has told me about it.

Personally, I think that you should always plan ahead. What if something happens and you lose the money? Could you afford the taxes on your house and the utility bills on the paycheck you had BEFORE you won the lottery?

I seriously would take every precaution to keep everyone from finding out. But I'd choose very carefully when it comes to lawyers. I'd hate to find out my lawyer skipped town with my money and is in a country with no extradition treaty!

Anyway, I have been dreaming for years that I win. I have been playing the same numbers for 4 years and I haven't won. YET. I'll let ya'll know if I do...because you won't see me on the news!

I am a Powerball Jackpot winner. The thing is about winning the lottery is that if your brainless BEFORE winning...then of course your gonna be BRAINLESS after it happens. The only thing that has changed is that your numbers happened to match up. Me being a wise young man, my sister was the first to know because her and i would speak about this subject on a regular basis and decided to come up with a plan.To this day, my other family members have no idea and remain clueless. Needles to say i've always been about my finances so them seeing me with nice things is nothin new. I personally did research as if it was a project due at school..lol

This is what i did after winning...

1. realized i won and jus about shit in my pants. I believe everythings possible so to be honest i was jus shocked that my intuition was correct.

2. I told my sis ..we celebrated and then followed this plan.

3. Got an attorney...started a Trust...Set aside 2 mill to splurge..then put together a team of investors to invest in agressive and slow wealth building situations.

Ive already gained back all, and more of what i put aside to splurge. The more ppl you tell the bigger the problem becomes because ppl always seem to have alternative motives. My mother now knows and has been told that if the secret is let out the bag..then her to will be cut out. Yea, it may seem harsh but the loyalty has gotta be kept strong. Thus far, it most definately has. Loved life before this happened, but now loving life even more.

In refrence to Mr. Trust comment,

Sounds like you have it all together! People believe that coming into a lot of money changes you. I guess that could be true depending on who's the individual. But one thing is for certain, it will change all the people around you.

Congratulations on your success and wish me luck!


It is so true about what they say... Money changes everything (and everyone). I would DEFINITELY be anonymous. In my family, there is alot of sibbling rivalry and back stabbing going on, but once you win the lottery? All of a sudden they are all nicey nice to you. It is best when some things are better left unsaid, especially with your winnings. Friends, relatives, & neighbors knocking at your door asking you for favors with their financial crises, people calling you over the phone in all hour of the day and night for "help". It is not about being a tightwad with your money, but more like keeping a peace of mind (and sanity) within yourself. I am not a lottery winner, but I strongly agree with everyone else about keeping yourself anonymous and investing your money wisely. Thank you everyone for your input on this subject.

I totally agree with all the above comments on remaining anonymous, it will definitely help to have some kind of trust set up so that your identity remain anonymous. If I ever win anything that big, setting up a way to hide my identity would be the best option. If possible, I'd try to continue living life the way I had lived before I won the lottery, if not, the last option would be to move.


If I do have that kind of money though, I'd certainly get a group of financial masters (loyal and mostly-honest of course) together and invest it accordingly.

don't let any one know you won the lottery. good idea. get a blind trust
and ease out of town. your new spending habits will alert some nosy leechs. dont over give to family. they will want even more. give freins even less. the real ones will be known to you soon enough.
money is not evil. people are. its sad that there has to be blind trust. moving away. losing friens and family but thats the way it is.
get a very good lawyer and give no one authority to sign your name to any documents.if you do make sure that it requires two signatures. yours being one of them. keep your money safe. have a good time but have it slowly and sober. if i ever win i will take my own advice

Many big lottery winners would prefer to remain anonymous -- to keep the media (such as Ft. Star Telegram reporters) from hounding them. And, to keep strangers and "relatives" from hitting them up for loans.

It's too bad the majority of states will not let you remain anonymous or collect your winnings using a Blind Trust. The lottery's want to be able to have the right to plaster your name and face on as many media items as they can for their own promotional gains.

I would definately remain anonymous. The last thing I want is people hounding me for money if I won the lottery. I would tell my parents and that is about it. I know I can trust them, but I have a greedy sister who would do anything for her share. I have a lot of money in CD's and she is always asking to borrow money, but I know she would never pay it back. It's better to not tell anyone.

To Paul up there, There is a difference between remaining anonymous and creating a Blind Trust Fund. Thats why i created the blind trust fund when i won as appose to jus remaining anonymous. A person who wins has a choice. Yes, they say its better to be open about it but you DO have a choice as to deny the press conference, as i did. Yes, you can ask to remain anonymous as some do but there could be nosey news columnists who do the research because if asked the headquarters by law must give the name of the person who won, like what happened with a guy who recently won in Kentucky like month or two ago. The cool thing with creating a Blind trust fund is that a person can do all the research they want but the only thing they will get is the NAME of the trust, NOT the name of the trustee's. Thats the whole point of creating one. . Ultimately, every single person has a choice. Its just the fact that most think they dont. So glad i did it the smart way. :)

Mr. Trust, Thanks, I'll remember that!

I buy multi-draw tickets every now and then, and I recently became aware that I've won in the lower double digits of millions. I live in a state that allows anonymous collection of prizes, but even with that and the added protection of setting up a blind trust, after having seen all those television specials about fallen winners and all the comments on pages like this, I feel that no matter what, to claim my money is to open my own personal Pandora's box. For the past few weeks my general mood has gone from the initial elation of finding you're financially set for life to a sort of lowly rumbling dread.

Not asking for sympathy, just describing the current state of mind of a soon to be millionaire by windfall. I'll claim the money when I feel better about it and know exactly what my plan is.

To anyone who plays the lottery, good luck. Sure seems like you need it the most after you've won though, huh?

In response to A, You should really cheer up buddy.I have no idea which game you won but I myself am a Powerball jackpot winner but am currently living the best of the situation. The E! show only put focus on one couple who had won who was living great but gave tremendous focus to those who simply couldnt adjust to the new life that winning the lottery brings.The show was meant to obviously put more worries into ppls heads just as the news does. I too, was asked to be apart of the situation but refused because why start by being private only to come out? That would be pointless in my eyes . Yes like i said above, i made the decision to only tell my sis and mother. Yet i am still in complete harmony of my life without the worry of "this person will try and take this from me" type attitude. Have you evver heard that you bring forth what you focus on? I live by that, therefore i only expect the best of everyday and things have always been goin great for me since i've come into this windfall. A person always gets what they expect. The thing is that most expect the worst, but then when the "worse" arrives, they wonder why. I by no means am telling you how to feel because you have complete control ovver how you feel. I have no idea what goes on in your head and vice versa. My advice would be to change your attitude on the big win you have recieved. You played for the purpose to win. Except it and ENJOY!

You dumbass. If you won several million bucks you wouldn't want a bunch of people just as stupid as you are hanging around your place and calling you all the time. People should have the right to remain anonymous. Man, is everybody in texas as stupid as you? Bunch of steers and queers. California rules!

Wow Moe, you're really insightful. I'm not from Texas but I live here now. Yes there are steers and yes there are queers but I also lived in California and it seems odd that someone from California makes a point about any other state having queers (or steers for that matter, where do "happy" cows come from)? Also, can't you be more creative than that? If you're going to randomly cut people down at least be intelligent about it. That saying is older than your lesbian grandmother's farts. See...that isn't hard! Anyway, you did give good advice. However, your other comments pretty much put you on the same level as all the "stupid" people in Texas but there are a lot of homophobes like you here as you can imagine so we're used to it. Thanks for taking this blog to a lower level, whether you know it or not you're one example of why anonymity is important...and thanks again for the good advice.

Never tell anyone, even your family if you can avoid it unless they are all educated, successful working professionals that earn a great living. Research about and start a business if you can, WITH HELP, it will provide the illusion that your money is coming from something people can grasp without questioning your charitability. If you can't figure out how to do that or you're from a small town just move away for a few years. Distance and time will help create a believable reason why you have some nice things. Also, the 6 month no spend period being recommended is a great idea. You must have time to plan your actions. Only use what's needed to set up your plan.

Listen to the winners here, they all say the same thing. Don't let ego or ignorance ruin what could be a wonderful gift in life. This won't relieve you of responsibility and burdens, those will just take a new form but you can control that if you're smart and realize that money creates different problems and you just have to deal with them properly, which means making hard choices.

As for the talk of to prove a lottery is ledgit should list winners names. Why should that even be of concern? If YOU play and if YOU win thats all you need to be concerned about. A list of fake or ledgit names isn't going to matter much to me (doesnt do anything for my pockets.) PLUS with all the craziesness that can surround winners. People should certainly be able to be anonomous winners.

Maybe you should read the story of the 1st big winner, 65,000,000.00.
A retired Houston nurse. She had to move from the house and small town that she was raised. People have the right to peace, even people who win big money.

Look it has happened in other countries where the politicians took money. Of the top of my head I can think of Albania where there was a goverment investment that nearly bankrupt the country when the politicians stole the money.

I am a financial advisor and planner that has helped previous lottery winners

Here are some things to consider why it is important to stay private about winning the lottery and avoid, Sudden Wealth Syndrome.

For a lot of people, winning the lottery is the American dream.
Having piles of cash only compounds problems for some people.

In our culture, there is a widely held belief that money solves problems.
People think if they had more money, their troubles would be over. When a family receives sudden money, they frequently learn that money can cause as many problems as it solves.

Winners get into trouble because they fail to address the emotional connection to the windfall.
There are two sides to money, Interior & Exterior.
The interior side is the psychology of money and the family relationship to money.
The exterior side is the tax codes, the money allocation, etc.
The goal is to integrate the two.
People who can't integrate their interior relationship with money appropriately are more likely to crash and burn.

Balancing, money, family & friends become overwhelming.

Because the winners have a large sum of money, they make the mistake of thinking they know what they're doing. They are willing to plunk down large sums on investments they know nothing about or go in with a partner who may not know how to run a business.

To offset some bad early decision-making and the inevitable requests of friends, relatives and strangers, I recommend lottery winners start by setting up a DFP or decision-free plan.

Take time out from making any financial decisions, by doing this right away and seeking a financial advisory team consisting of a financial planner, lawyer & accountant, to help make those important financial choices.
It's smarter to do it before you even get your hands on the money.
Most lottery prizes can be claimed up to 180 days after winning.
It's not a time to decide what stocks to buy or jump into a new house purchase or new business venture.

People who are not used to having money are fragile and vulnerable, and there are plenty of people out there who are willing to prey on that vulnerability, even friends and family.

I educate my clients on how to keep and grow their wealth while maintaining a life balance.
I have an 11 step process that has been successful in creating life long income for my clients.

Once your income is secured and you know that you do not have to work, unless you want to, the other wants and desires can be obtained.

Hope this helps shed some light on the subject.

ineed2know @ mail . com

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments.

"MY 2 CENTS" Your comment reads like a Grifters grab and catch! ineed2know, that's funny!

Lots of Luck!

Understand two things about the nature of lottery winners:

1) Most people who play are not wealthy. I doubt "The Donald" or Mr. Gates are rushing to the convienence store on a weekly basis to fill out their tickets.....

2) Most un-wealthy people are that way for a reason (or two).

You don't come into millions by not knowing how to manage it. Even if people are inheriting millions, you can bet that they are recieving the best type of instruction on how to handle it as well.

Lottery winners have no such support system. It's the primary reason we see stories about "winners gone wild" so often.

Money is the thing which stops us from acting out as we really wish we could. As such, money serves to amplify your underlying personality. So remember this when you read about lotto winners. It's a safe bet that all of the winners had these issues before they won. The money simply allowed them to act on their desires.

Some one knows the winner's right of privacy in Florida?????

I have reason to believe that my husband won the lottery there, but I have no way in finding out. I don't think it is right to keep it secret

Like a lot of people I have though what if I win. I wouldn't want my name know that is for sure. I would take the trust option as well to hide my identify. What I would do, and advise people to think about, is if I did win I would plan to place the money in a Swiss bank account. For the last two years the interest rate has been about 5% per year. Which at any amount over 1 mil (after taxes) is enough to live on. Maybe not the lap of luxury (depending on where you want to live), but to live well. Unlike a interest from US bank account as long as the money in the account is not used to invest in US companies then the money is not taxable. Other than the initial tax for winning that would cut out most future tax worries.

Like someone else said there is still taxes involved if you give any of that money to friends or family (even from one Swiss account to another). At that point find a good tax lawyer and deal only with the amounts you actually plan to give away the do not need to know anything about your total wealth. I would give some of it away, but I would be very secretive about to whom and how much.

I can see why everyone is paranoid about lotto winner keeping their identities secret. There are too many potential problems (relatives, charities, scam artists). But what I don't understand is why these problems don't happen to other people with a ton of money.

For example, when Wall Street bankers, CEOs, or other high-level executives get multi-million (or even billion) dollar payouts, should they be just as scared? This is public information, too; in fact, it is widely reported in the news. Did the founders of YouTube get a hundred phone calls from relatives asking for more money when they made $300 million by selling YouTube to Google?

So, what's the difference? Sure, sometimes those ppl don't get cash or other liquid assets, but the same idea holds.

remain anonymous as long as possible. move.

To Peter Chang, To answer your question, I think people feel, (relatives, charities, scam artists) that becasue the money was free, so to speak, everyone should get a piece.

Peter Chang asked an excellent question. People don't beg because it was a business and the owners earned the money. I believe people ask for money because they think the recipients are not entitled.

Personally, I would find a good estate attorney, after due diligence. He/she would have experience with other families, large money and investments. I would set up a trust to protect myself, my family and curtail taxes. I would have large life insurance policy to my primary beneficiary. I would then proceed to interview financial people. Anyone who advised me to take the lump sum would be ditched.(The annuity currently pays more than 3 million over the lump sum at roughly 4 percent. If the interest rate increases, so do the payments.)

I'd rather not be smacked with millions and have to make decisions, overnight. I'd rather get paid smaller amounts and "grow" into having money. I would give myself a year of T-bill laddering and 5 percent accounts to find good people, with a couple hundred grand, on 15 million. I don't think I'm smart enough to make millions work for me.

I only have my cell phone and I would disappear for a while. I would move to a secured condo building where all the residents have money. Takes a card key to even use the elevators.

I would need SSN's for the trust to send money to 4 people. I would tell my daughter and tell her that if she tells, I give everything to charity. The other three, I can just tell them they're on my insurance. They would get checks from some trust, out of the blue. My step would validate, deposit and ask questions later. He'd suspect/know, but he wouldn't tell.

I would do everything anon. I would create a back story for my condo, with my own family. I would be an artist who's loved in cities.

I have a dirt bag brother and cousins. My privacy is currently kept secret by my ex's family, even though I'm poor.

I wonder why most people take the lump sum when they generally don't know what to do with money? I've had the experience. I would take the annuity, live in a nice condo, well below my means with security. In the interim, I'd take business classes.

I would think I had I had a responsibility to myself to learn how to invest wisely.

A Blind Trust is most definently the way to go, but I noticed that that when claim information is published online for Mega Millions the name of the winning person or trust AND the name of the person who claims the prize are published from the Mega Million's Website. These are two different things. For example, in several cases I noticed that a Trust won the prize, but a person listed by name claimed the prize. The only way to get around that would be to set up a Blind Trust and have your Attorney claim the prize on your behalf. I am not sure which states allow an Attorney to claim the prize on his client's behalf. Does anyone know which states allow this? I also agree with the "SHUT UP" advice. The only person I would tell is my spouse. As far as the rest of the family I would make up a very creative story to explain how I could afford to live in a nicer home, take vacations, etc. Also no one needs to know that my brand new car or house or vacations were not financed.

I see no problem with people wanting to keep their names private. If there weren't so many greedy ass holes out there it probably wouldn't be a problem, but come on now if you won would you want complete strangers showing up on your door step telling you their sob story and begging for money?

A friend of mine won the lotto 10 or 11 years ago (before cash option), and set up a trust to manage the money rather than to remain anonymous. I thought he handled the family part of the deal really well. He has 16 immediate family members and gives each one $2000 as a Christmas gift ( he gets $320,000 annually) and tells them he is happy to share with them but don't even think about asking for additional for any reason or risk getting permanently removed from the Christmas list. I occasionally play golf with him at his club and sometimes he pays my green fee ands sometimes he doesn't. "After all," he likes to say " there's probably a thousand lawyers in Dallas who make twice as much as I do and a bunch who make 10 times more." And that's just lawyers.

it's because those who win the lottery are begged by the less fortunate
ive heard many stories of lotto winners who are now in the poor house because they get begged by others,family, and even companies start suing them for no reason
If i were to win i am stayin confidential 100%
so amny people out there are just plain greedy and selfish

I don't even have to think about what I would do if I had won: going public or staying anonymous. I like being humble, but I would LOVE to have no more worries except what to wear, what food I'm craving, and lying in bed and realizing that I forgot to brush my teeth. And I do love my family and some of my friends, but what they don't know (like a nice sum of winnings), won't hurt them. And you could always go to the ATM really quick if someone was in need. And Christmas shopping wouldn't be so depressing anymore. But do what you want. I would just go to school and raise my child, well fetus right now, but future child.

First thing to do if you win a big jackpot is get an estate attorney. If you win in a state that won't allow you to claim anonymously, you have several months to claim your prize - spend the time, with the help of your attorney, changing your name. Then when the press release is done no one who knows you will recognize your new name, unless you told them. If the state also requires you to pose for a pic, don't go looking like you usually do. If your name is Joe, but your greedy relatives read that "Harry Williams wins record setting jackpot" they'll never think of you.

Are there any advantages of forming a LLC instead of a Trust to collect you lottery winnings?

I think if i won the lotto I would what to remain anonymous there are crazy people that would do thing to you and your family just to get some money or you never know. And just for sound and mine just to get some sleep at night.

any lottery winners or players have an idea on best way to play the lottery should it be a quick pick or should the person pick numbers

Our family won a large sum of money 20 years ago and took the lump sum of money up front, and then we took a fourth of that lump sum and split it up and allowed ourselves to splurge, but before allowing ourselves to splurge we invested the remaining to be invested in lifetime TDA's (Tax Deferred Annuity's) for each family member.

The first year we lived large with a really nice family vacation, new furniture, clothes, cars and whatnot. The cash went fast and was gone within the second year. It's hard to fathom how fast even a large sum of money can go but when you're buying items without precaution the money does goes fast.

Had it not been for the TDAS's there would be no money remaining today. Most people do not realize that even with the federal taxes that are taken off the top there are all sorts of other taxes. You invest any of that money and you pay income taxes on earned income, and state taxes, and even estate taxes, and the list goes on. You also find yourself in a different tax bracket and all the rules change and you need t have an accountant sort it all out, which also costs money. As mentioned before if give more than one million away as a gift, you pay gift taxes. You buy a house and you now have property taxes, and even if you take the payout option in most states you pay state and locate revenue and income taxes even on certain wining such as lottery winnings as each payout constitutes revenue or income.

Our best avenue at the time was a TDA because it deferred all taxes except on the amount of the actual monthly payments, which although is a fixed amount it comes out to what most people pay on any given paycheck in correlation to their earnings and this is manageable for each of us.

Like many winners of large sums we figured the federal tax that is taken off the top was all the taxes that are ever taken. We (our family) were all surprised to learn there are still many other types of taxes to be paid on the remaining money depending on how the money is allocated and housed, even in a trust there are still taxes and fees, not to mention the layers fees, which usually amount to percentages and being that a trust must be managed and operated within certain guidelines there is a trustee whose services usually cost money as well regardless of who the trustee is because of state and federal trust laws.

I am speaking from experience, as the new car I so proudly purchased back when our family came into the money is only a memory, and the new expensive clothes are all long gone too and probably not even in good enough condition to be found in a secondhand store, the same holds true for the new furniture we bough, that ended up being passed down years ago too.

This past year (2008) I did buy a car and paid cash for it, but it was a 2004 model in good condition, my old car was stolen and wrecked. (Even with money life still has problems) my current car is very nice and the best part is it is paid for with a clear title and almost no real insurance, and very low key, well super nice but not a new model. The clothes I wear today are simple and not flashy and the home we live in is completely paid for, although there are still yearly property taxes and upkeep which cost money, the house is paid off.

Our neighbors do not know our financial situation except that we are comfortable and that we both work (I claim to make money doing consulting and work that I do from a home office) and we don't tell others our house and bills are paid, we simply live without the worry of the stress of worrying about money or income.

In today's economic crisis our only worry is that there might be a default in the TDA as the note is held by an insurance company and this company could go under at any time, but I tell myself the same holds true for a bank if our money was deposited there as well. There really are no 100% safe places for money anywhere so once you realize this, the fear of losing your money is a very real reality even if it's not from crooks, scammers, beggars, or greedy family and friends, it simply sucks worrying about losing it all the, just as much as worrying about not having it before you win. Life with a large winning isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Here is my advice from experience, if you are playing the lottery plan to win and put in writing what your plan of action well before you actually win so when you lucky day arrives you are already ahead.

Of course it goes without say to claim your prize anonymously. but already research each option and decide on the best option that fits your life and family. My sister found that pre-paying both of her child's college education were actual tax shelters for that money as well as she had other tax benefits as being able to write of the amount at the end of the year and by the time her children reach college age the actual cost of tuition will probably be double what they were when she purchased the tuitions. Since I have no children this doesn't apply to me, so as I said look at options that fit your needs.

Plan to live modestly but comfortably but for the long term.
Set up lifetime payments even if that means taking the winnings and reinvesting in a TDA or other such stable monthly payouts. You can actually invest in a long term TDA with 1 million and over a 30 year period is can pay out double that as it can be an investment.

Just avoid the frivolous fast reckless spending and think long term simple investments not to mention all the other taxes and cost associated with winning. Good luck

Dear Sadderthansad,

I am so sorry to have read your story. I can't imagine the pain you must still feel. It truly makes me angry. You should have never been treated that way by anyone! I only hope that you no longer live is that area and if you do, you should move. You made a long-shot investment and it paid off! Those in the financial world who make long-shot investments that result in big pay offs aren't treated as such. (...and lets face it, many of them are criminals according to the news lately). Don't ever return to a business that treats you with such disrespect, they are not deserving of your patronage. That community should not be rewarded by your purchases of consumer goods or your taxes. You must find another attorney and find out if your rights were violated by that area's police department. They are they to serve and protect you. You MUST remove yourself from that area completely, the depression of your isolation cannot continue.

There are truly lovely people in this world and you need to again surround yourself with them. I live in New York City, very easy to be private, anonymous and still have friends and acquaintances that make you laugh at the corner pub or restaurant. We are use to associating with people of all economic backgrounds and don't think twice about.

Perhaps NYC isn't the place for you, but does serve as a good example of a better atmosphere. A big town or smaller city that may suit you better. I would definitely advise some type of college town or city. There are always things going on, not to mention fun classes in art or music or any interest you have to explore and meet people.

I hope this comment finds you and I hope it helps. Life is short. Leave the bad stuff behind you and move forward. Put your good fortune to good use towards a healthier existence. You have learned a lot about people through this experience, and that is valuable knowledge. You need to trust yourself again and get to know people in a new community.

Take it slow and one person at a time.
I hope you find happier times soon.

From someone who does not begrudge you of your fortune and desires nothing from it. God Bless.

I knew a guy back in the eighties that won a small lottery amount, $100,000; told his boss where to go and quit his machinist job ( of 14 years) and starting fixing up his mother's house. One year later, he had to go back to work (maintenance worker)and mom's house was left undone.

Did anybody ever find out whether privacy is an option if you win the Powerball? I play in Pennsylvania, so I assume if I won it would be subject to state and federal taxes. Just wondering how privacy works here.

Occasionally in the news over here in the United Kingdom you hear of "Power-ball" winners winning huge sums of money. However, it seems that the US has a "Bum-deal" in this respect. After a bit research I realised that if you want the lump-sum you only get half the stated amount and then that half gets taxed at a huge 38% or something close to that. Sorry, that wasn't helpful was it rubbing your nose in it :-(.

I have yet to win the lottery, probably never will but I still occasionally play it none the less. In the UK you can remain completely anonymous and are infact encouraged to do so.

I have always been, and still am a saver. If I cannot afford it I don't buy it. Even if I can afford it I have to justify the expense. So anyway I was working at this company earning a fairly average (median) wage and saving every month. I was amazed to discover the number of people at this company in debt (excluding student loans). These debts were unsecured as well, absolutely nothing to show for them. These people exhibited the "spoilt brat" syndrome, I want it and I want it now! So they whack it on a credit-card at something like 16% APR.
I let slip that I had about 25,000 saved-up from the then current job and a previous one (a years wages). OMG the resentment from one of the people that was about 80,000 in debt was unbelievable. Jokingly they would ask to borrow money, except that this happened on a weekly to daily basis and so it sort of stopped being a joke. I was like "What! so you have spent all of YOUR money, some of the BANKS money and now you want to spend MY money as well!!??" Honestly, some people.

It is for that reason that I have learned that Anonymity is VERY important! There are parasites everywhere. 80% or more of people in unsecured debt are so because of their own stupidity and greed. A tangible example is fat people complaining about being fat whilst gobbling done fries and chocolate.

Ironically, the Government taxing the rich more heavily to give to the poor doesn't work too well. The reason for this is that a lot of poor people are poor due to their own actions. In fact, it is the people that resent the rich that are responsible for their own shitty lives. (Obviously there ARE poor people that are poor through no fault of their own). Its not about being taught how to handle money. It is about discipline at an early age, unfortunately in todays age childeren are all too often spoilt.

Hell!!! the ecconomic crisis today exists due to stupid people living off credit cards for stupid purchases such as cars, games-consoles etc. As well as having a mortgage on a house that is way out of their league. Greedy wan, sorry greedy bankers have obviously compounded this problem. What pisses me off is that as a saver, I get shafted due to the greedy morons.

If I won the lottery I would stop renting shared-accommodation and buy a modest house and a decent car. I would tell absolutely no one that I had won, unless for some unforseen reason it was deemed necessary. I would let friends and relatives and especially my parents think that I was rich through having a decent job. I think that in telling relatives etc you lose their respect. In addition, being handed huge sums of money for doing absolutely nothing is something that takes a great strength of character for that individual to deal with. Most people with career aspirations want to be succesful in that job through hard work and determination, to earn their money through their own merits. When the money is just handed to you, you run the risk of not respecting it, yet another reason why people lose it all.

I am happy for lottery winners, the lucky bastards :-). Its the people that win and then complain that they are miserable that piss me off. The ones that actually end up in debt are even worse.

Oh and one more thing, I can justify playing the lottery because although I know the odds of winning are very remote, it makes me feel really excited for a few days that I could win, until that is, all of the wrong bloody numbers come up :-( better value than alcohol anyway.

If I won the lottery I would prefer to stay private...

Privacy, privacy, privacy!

Thank God, we can set up a trust in TX to claim prize money! I feel sorry for the Virginians who can't even do that. If I were in that scenario, I'd get the devil out of town as soon as I got my financial team together. Out of state actually! I'd take two prepaid cellphones--one that I could send and receive calls on and one I could only send calls on. Guess which one I'd use to call the relatives on when enough time goes by and they can't find me? :) I'd probably use that time to decompress, rant, rave, write out thoughts, feelings, ideas, plans--you know, stuff you can show your team when you get back so they can help you set up the rest of your life. It would be both an exciting and fragile time for me emotionally. I'm smart enough to know that I don't know enough about handling that sort of money alone so I'd depend on a good honest money team. A trust laywer, CPA, financial planner and maybe a councilor of some sort are all musts for me.

I would definitely stay anonymous and take a lot of the advice listed above. Since I work two jobs, I would leave both jobs begin working out and spending more time with my wife and kids. Not looking for anything over the top, just a future without worrying about which bill should I pay first and float the other one until next month. If you are a parent, you know life becomes all about the children's future and their growth. I have heard alike the horror stories of the huge winnings. I would take care of the people who took care my family and me and were genuinely there for me and my family when I did not ask but their help was given on a moments notice. This would be taken care on the down low. The advice given above is very good and documented by myself, but I have yet to hear how to win the lottery, i.e. quick picks, scratch offs, same #'s, same location week in and week out, change location every time played. Please share these intimate details so I can use the above advice when I do win........thanks everyone!!!

One trick that has not been mentioned here -

American Gold and Silver Eagle Coins

The facts -

1. These coins are 1 troy oz. of .999 fine grade gold or silver and worth whatever dollar amount gold and silver are going for at the time of purchase.

2. The best part - they are without a doubt the most private form of wealth available in the United States today. The sale or transfer of gold and silver american eagle coins are NOT required to be report to the IRS or any other government agency, whether it be federal or local.

Example -

I win the powerball jackpot worth 150 million. I want to give 2 million to my parents but want to avoid the 45% gift tax. I buy 2 million worth of American Golden Eagle coins (aprox. 2,200 coins) and then give them to my parents. They can then sell them back for cash or keep the coins. The best part as mentioned - the sale/transfer of those coins is not required to be report to the government. Think about the possibilities. Want to transfer large sums of wealth? Gold and Silver is the key.

It will get cumbersome to lug around treasure chests full of gold coins but it could be fun in the process. Gold and Silver is also a great hedge against inflation as Obama just filled the market with 3.6 trillion of fake money, further decreasing the the dollar's purchasing power.

My advice to lotto jackpot winners -

1. Collect Anon. (duh)
2. Immediately move said cash from debit/checking account
3. Immediately get debt free, pay cash for all purchases

People will disagree with me on this one citing mortgage payments and tax breaks but honestly, if you have 150 million who cares about a few mil here or there? The peace of mind of living debt free is worth its weight in gold (literally).

4. Immediately lock up a % of cash in longterm, guaranteed bonds/CD's
5. Immediately buy gold/silver to hedge against inflation.
6. Buy some foreign energy stocks (decreasing dollar value)
7. Donate your time / start your own non profit
8. Enjoy life!!!

Can anyone tell me ---- How does the government KNOW if I give more than a $1000 to anyone? ---- I really don't understand. --- How can they charge a 'gift tax'? This does not make sense. --- If the government has already taken their pound of flesh in income taxes, it is 'MY MONEY'. ---- How does the 'government' KNOW, or why do they care, if I give $1000 or more to anyone? ----- I'm really serious. How does the government KNOW?

The government finds out if the recipient of the gift reports it on his or her taxes.

I used to play the lottery and was pretty lucky at winning. Not huge sums, but five grand here and five grand there. One thing I learned is that you don't have to win a lot of money. But it brings out the worst in people, especially among your "so called" friends. My niece and I were just talking about this yesterday. We live in Pennsylvania. We both said if we ever won the Powerball or a substantial amount of money, we wouldn't tell a soul, not even family, especially family. If anyone inquired about my elevated standard of living, I would just say I worked all my life, and made some good investments and now I was enjoying the fruits of my labor.

I was wondering?? Can anyone tell me about this situation as I haven't been able to find it on ANY websites. I have a husband who pays child support to an ex wife. We are in a community property state. If I won the lottery how could I protect the $ from his ex wife coming after us for more $. Needless to say she's evil & I wouldnt have a problem if the child support wasn't already enough. But I would want the best way to protect my (our) winnings because she would never use it properly if she did. Besides collecting on a blind trust, are there any additional ways? She's one of those people that thinks she shouldn't have to work for anything, but would feel entitled to it just because.

Your husband fathered children. If he won the lottery, why shouldn't his children share in that good fortune?

Did you miss the point Rogers? The children can benefit thru us, the ex wife should not benefit. You don't know the history or the circumstances or the custody situation, so don't assume to know. I want to know how to protect it. I've seen parents steal money from their kids, I worked in a bank for years.

There's no way you could protect a financial windfall from becoming a factor in your husband's child support. His ex could petition the court for a portion of those winnings to benefit the kids, as their custodial parent. Personally, I think that's the way it should be.

Sadly enough, it would only benefit herself...the poor kid would be lucky if any was left for college if it were in her control. I won't take your word for it, what you "think" & don't actually know is of no consequence to me.

I don't know your situation at all -- the ex-wife could be as "evil" as you say she is.

But as the child of divorced parents I don't have a lot of patience for angry second spouses who complain about child support and custody matters involving their spouse's kids. You married somebody who had children from a past marriage. Your spouse has an open-ended obligation to support those kids that will grow if his financial circumstances improve. Them's the breaks.

If you don't want my opinion you shouldn't post on my blog.

It's funny, your response insinuates I am an angry new spouse...And I'm not. I have more of the child's best interests at heart than his own mother does & take better care of him then his own mommy. You also make it sound like I don't like my husband paying support. lol. When infact that's not a problem. We have joint phys. custody so the support isn't an issue at all. I have my own children's futures to look out for too. I'll be damned if an irresponsible lazy no good mother gets her selfish hands on something she would waste & not ever use for her own kids welfare. So thanks for assuming incorrectly & no good advice at all. You know what they say when you assume... It would be safe to say if there was an act. put aside for his college fund, she would try to get into it...or if she had access it would all be gone before he was 18. That's pretty sad.

If you won claim the mone in a trust for the "kid(s)" with payments made out to yourself and an account for the child when 18 they collect. Your payment you would fiqure in the current shild support amount and that would be sent to the Witch :)

There was time where we felt so hopeless because we are in great need of money. Especially now that we are in recession, we can't help but to take our chances in lottery. For those people that play the New Jersey Lottery, you better hope that you get the winning ticket " because MegaMillions is not kidding around this time. The New Jersey Lottery jackpot just went up from $170 million to $207 million, and no winner has yet declared or been found. MegaMillions, the lottery game, is played in over a dozen states, and despite criticism for encouraging gambling, the programs go to fund schools and other state agencies " so in essence, people are gambling almost for charity " and the chance to get filthy rich! A person, or even if there are ten people that win the New Jersey Lottery for that amount " will certainly never need no fax payday loans again.

After reading all the comments on "If I win the lottery" I find it interesting that almost all of us would be really happy if we could increase our income just $750.00 a month.

I would worry about large sums of money when I win or better yet, when I receive the money.

It is good advice to plan. It's been said that "he who fails to plan, plans to fail."

But as I stated before, with this economy we should be focused on increasing our income and net worth in small increments until we have the blessing of a huge wind fall.

Work on eliminating credit card debt, start a small business that will increase your monthly income even by just a couple of hundred dollars to start and open you own savings account. ( I know that is hard and the interest is low but make an effort.)

As your income progresses, your credit cards (and high interest rates) are eliminated you will start to find that you can put more money back.

One of the ways to save almost painlessly is to use your life insurance policy cash values ( don't worry, I'm not an insurance agent) but it is a great way to cover two issues. One is money in case you die and the other is cash in case you don't and it's tax free. See your agent. Oh yes, you can buy term and invest the difference I get that from financial advisors all the time. It's your choice.

We all get frustrated about lack of money but the most important thing is only one in 175 million people are going to win that or any lottery. We all agree on how to protect our "winnings" but we do little to protect our current income and resources.

Just a thought. Don't get mad- get even!

Great Info. I am certainly up for the challenge that winning the lotto will present :-)

For 'New Wife' - Go to a lawyer immediately and draw up a contract stating that any future proceeds from income, winnings, or business transactions will be split by percentage, 99% to 1%. In the state of Texas you cannot fight the split of proceeds, but you can legally change the percentages. Do this BEFORE you ever win anything. You win the lottery, you claim the ticket and the husband gets his 1% that the ex and his children collect on. You want to be kind, you set up accounts for ALL of the children's college education in trust. And for the sake of the commentor who's parents were divorced, you support your own children, let the other woman take care of hers. People need to be reminded that it takes two to make children and a woman needs to start taking some financial responsibility. I used to be offended when I heard the phrase that marriage was the first form of welfare... I no longer do. And the line should read 'Every PARENT has an open-ended obligation to support their children, mother and father, alike'.

i had no clue about the blind trust aspect. very good info here. i soon will be a lotto winner and I needed this info, it will make the process that much smoother. Thanks everyone.

Future lottery winner here. hehehe

Once you win, form the blind trust, and collect the winnings via lawyer into said trust, how does one spend the money "blindly" from that trust? Would it function like a corporate checking account, with a named individual having signature authority?

Questions for past winners: what was your frequency of play, did you win with your numbers or quick picks, what was your method of choosing your numbers?

Thanks all!

Couldnt you ask to make their advertisements and press releases under an alias, but keep all other info for the govt. legit?

If a state has a rule that you must claim the prize and your name become public, then you have to do that. Virginia is a good example. As noted above, the state uses the excuse that all public expenditures must be public. Yet, that may not be the case.

Lottery payoffs are 'funds transfers'. The money is not collected vis-a-vis state law (taxes) or fees (tolls, etc). It is money collected (in Mega Millions, nationwide) in a contest that is then 'distributed'.

It seems you could make a case that the state rule, or code if it is one that lottery winnings don't pass the muster for disbursement of state funds (taxes, fees) which are required to become public 'after payments are made, scheduled or devised' (state code). Although state law allows lotteries, it does not define winnings or what their legal status really is. The state, I'm sure, will say that 'the winner paid taxes on the winnings, so we must make that winner public'. Which, of course, is the point in question.

The obivious intent of the state law for accoutibility is to clearly show who gets, and what was done with public funds. However, it also seems clear that lottery winnings enter a unique and different form of money. Given the problems associated with winners becoming public figures you would think the state would readdress this issue and try to offer a common sense solution to it. Allowing trusts seems like a good way to go. Until then, maybe a bored lawyer or law student could file a peoples motion and case challenging the right the state has to require what it does for winners. Might be fun to see how it works out.

My neighbor won 18 mil. We were talking about it, I mentioned it must be comforting to know your family is taken care of and you have nothing to worry about financially.
He said "Well, actually, I have a new set of problems. I used to worry about having money, now I have to worry about keeping it".


"Someone knows I won, they just happen to slip and fall in my driveway and my insurance coverage isn't sufficient...
My wife is in a fender bender, the other driver finds out who she is....
Already I have relatives I never knew existed and that's just from my family knowing and talking about it".

I think I'd keep it to myself.

Can you set up a trust in California to receive money anonymously, like for the Mega Millions for example?

I called the California Lottery folks and they said that a winner has to provide their name and location, as it was a matter of public record.

However, they did say that a trust could claim the prize, but that the person's name would appear on the documentation of the trust. Is this true, or is there a way to structure the trust so that the individuals name was not on it?

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated?

A blind trust may be used to preserve your identity. The customary approach would be to establish two (2) trusts. The first such trust would be with the grantor's/winner's name (e.g., your name) disclosed on the face of the trust agreement. However, when a lottery claim is made by a "blind trustee", it is not unusual for the lottery commission involved to require the trustee/claimant (who is the "agent" for the "undisclosed/anonymous" actual winner) to provide a copy of the trust agreement "under which" the claim is being made.

Because you do not want the "real" winner's name to show on the trust agreement presented to the lottery commission as documentation with the "blind trustee's" claim, add provisions to the first trust agreement that direct the "blind trustee" to establish a second trust for the sole purpose of pursuing and collecting the lottery prize anonymously. Thus, the second trust agreement identifies the "agent" (usually, the same trustee as under the "first trust") as the "grantor" and "trustee", stipulating that the grantor has established the trust for the specific purpose of claiming the prize on behalf of an undisclosed Beneficiary or Beneficiaries (who are identified in the "first trust" but not under the "second/blind trust").

#128-Thank you for your response. I think I understand...more from the California state lottery office below:

Does the social security # requirement imply that the grantor's identity needs to be made public? See below:

Thank you for contacting the California Lottery.

According to Section H of the Omnibus Lottery Regulations (Claiming a Prize or Award):

Prize winnings shall be paid to a natural person. Natural person includes, when applicable, multiple persons as denoted on the multiple ownership claim form.

(1) Under unique conditions, the Director may allow prize winnings to be paid to someone other than a natural person. These other entities are:

(a) A non-profit 501-C corporation; or

(b) A revocable trust where the grantor is the winner and the trust is linked to the grantor's social security number.

For additional information, please click on the link below:


Remain anonymous. Then...

Move your money and yourself outside of the United States. We're not the only country in the world that speaks English. Move to Canada, better yet, move to Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong.

If you know a second language like Spanish, move to Spain and exchange all your winnings into Euros. If you Japanese, move to Japan and exchange all of them to Japanese yens.

Better yet, exchanging your winnings from dollars to foreign currency is a great bet. Charity comes knocking on your door? Sorry, I've wired all my money to my parents in Greece and they're all in Euros now. This ain't in their playbook, so all they do is shut up and leave.

Make up a lie before you quit your job. Say you're taking a vacation on frequent flier miles you built up from your credit card. Then fax in a letter of resignation from a convenience store in Finland. What are they going to do? Spend $$$ tracking you down half a world away trying to sue you? Make it UNECONOMICAL for them to track you down.

Take the only precious things and leave everything behind. Payoff all your bills online and shut down all your utilities and phones by calling from overseas using Skype. BTW, this is a great way to get around retention calls: "I'm moving back to Japan (or any other foreign nation)" This isn't in anyone's play book so all you get is a silence and they have to shut it down. No "well if you stick to us for another month, we'll give you 50% off the bill" crap.

Move away as far as you can from your "friends" and "co-workers" and "charities" before they figure out you won the lotto. By the time they do, you'll be thousands of miles away which won't be economically feasible for them to track you down.

Ever wonder why smart and intelligent people never surface up on lotto winnings? They remain anonymous, cash in the money, and scram. They're able to think outside of the box:

The US isn't the only country in the world.
The US dollar isn't the only country in the world.
You have the money now to move away from peskering neighbors and harassing calls.

Hard choices? Definitely.

To the last comment- That is ridiculous. You are essentially saying you would live the life of a fugitive if you won the lottery. What kind of freedom is that?!? Leave all your belongings and loved one behind?!? Now you have become a slave to your own winnings.

Just be intelligent enough to claim the winnings anonymously, wait for the local fuss to die down before claiming your winnings, and live a comfortable but not over the top lifestyle and you should be fine. Showboating is what gets people into trouble. :-)

Hello, I'm about to win the lottery tonight and need some advice. Ok, so the prize for the MegaMillions is now $100 million and the lump sum is $65.6 million. After tax, I've calculated that my take home will be around $42.5 million.
Which of the following makes more sense:

A. Give all the money away to PETA and California same sex marriage causes.
B. Spend all the money on alcohol, drugs, and strippers (apparently this is pretty common.)
C. Take physical cash in $100 bills and dump it out of a truck in front of the Superbowl causing a mass panic.
D. Tell everyone you know and promise them $1 million dollars if they will be your friend.
E. Reinvest the money into the lottery (will the lottery commission help buy 42.5 million more tickets?)
F. Let the ticket expire after 180 days, then come out the following day at a press conference and claim to be the world's worst procrastinator?)
G. Keep it a secret, setup a trust called "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
H. Give the money to Obama and Gore to help pay for global warming research.
I. Buy approximately one ton of gold and build the worlds most expensive and corrosion resistant toilet.

I too would collect my winnings the way it's being done by many winners because privacy is what you want, if you happen to win. People you seldom see would be visiting you and it would be for your money and not because they miss you dearly.

Let's face the truth"the people who actually want to know the names of the lottery winners are secretly hoping that the winners will be sued. It's like what the press does: builds celebrities up and then tears them down. Well, the lottery has built the winners up, and there are people out there who want to make sure that they get tore down. When people find out you have money, you are fair game for anything, and people will lie, cheat and steal to get that money. That is especially true when it comes to lottery because people don't think you have earned the money.

In response to #134, I disagree that the lottery builds people up like celebrities. Instantaneous, large amounts of money will only serve to compound a persons lifestyle. If they are poor and possibly irresponsible, then the money will be applied to further that irresponsible lifestyle, thus the wild spending and eventual debt. Wealthy people probably don't play the lottery in the same ratio as poor people because they have learned that hard work will generally be rewarded. It's as simple as easy come, easy go.

My thoughts are that the typical low income, uneducated lottery winner will be "torn down" not because of any outside influence, but because of the poor choices they make and a lack of discipline. If you win the lottery, don't tell anyone, don't give money away, don't invest in things you don't understand, and move next to wealthy people that are comfortable with money and won't sue you because they fell at your summer BBQ.

Does anyone know if there is a privacy law for the state of Connecticut(i.e., if they will allow you to remain anonymous and put the winnings into a trust, etc.)?

Well, it sounds to me that the majority of us posting here have probably spent too much time fantasizing about what we'd do and how we'd handle the chaos that would surely surround being a multimillion dollar lottery winner. But, that's ok - if you don't believe (and play), it won't happen. So, now let's presume that after a huge windfall and Uncle Sam grabbing his fair share, you're left with...let's say 30 million (a nice round number). As 99% of those have stated, DON'T SAY A WORD! Contact a reputable attorney affiliated with a very high profile firm and retain an Estate Planning Attorney. They wouldn't dare attempt any misdeeds because it would destroy their reputation and they're already making millions a year on the wealthy client base that trusts them. Have that Estate Planniing attorney set-up a blind trust so the ticket can be claimed anonymously. Then, utilize the services of one of their Tax Attorneys who will establish a plan to utilize legal loopholes that will keep you from getting slammed by the government. Third and fourth, hire a Wealth Management Investor and a CPA. The CPA should be an independent professional who can act as an objective guardian and ensure that the law firm is carrying out their fiduciary duties and directing the money to the proper accounts. Most importantly, and as was stated before, establish a No Spending Time Zone. If you were successful in maintaining your anonymity, no one will be beating down your door or harrasing you with phone calls. The only person who might let the cat (or should I cash) out of the bag is YOU. If you're an apartment renter, get a new place. If you're a homeowner, leave town for awhile (and perhaps even purchase a modestly priced vacation getaway). Bottom line, planes, trains & $100K cars are out!! The old adage is so true - money can't buy happiness. Find something useful to do with your time - volunteer, take a class, learn a new hobby. Just keep your mind active so you don't go crazy. And there you have it... two cents from someone who will probably never win the lottery big bucks but still enjoys the fantasy. Remember - dreamin's free.

hahaha i enjoy seeing dreamers saying "If i win the lottery i will do...." most of you guys sound really dumb already. Apparently many of you don't know what to do with money. Why spend $20, $10 or even a dollar every day to play lottery when the odds are something like 1 in 200million!?!!!! Lol you can save that money in a piggy bank for a whole year and see how much it fetches you. You will never hear of the rich or upper-class playing these stupid lotteries do you know why? Oh its not because they have money and don't need extra cash, its mainly because they are SMART INVESTORS they know the odds of the game and they know they are better of investing those loose change on something with a guaranteed profit. LOL most of the people who play lotteries are uneducated and poor to begin with, many of you think that whenever the pay out for powerball or megamillion increases the odds will be in your favor, WRONG! So my friends rather than planning how you will remain annonymous, enlist in a trust, buy this and that and what not, you should really start saving your loose change for better things.

Blind trust is the way to go! Tell absolutely NO ONE and dole out monies as you see fit. When asked 'where did you get this money from?' my answer is 'my rich uncle died'. The person usually accepts said money and goes on. If I am asked again for money from the same person, I simply beg off and state, sorry, I don't have it. Trust me, it goes a lot farther that way. I did purchase a new house and I give myself a regular paycheck (every 2 weeks). I leave home as though going to work everyday. I volunteer my time with a certain charity and no one knows that I am a volunteer (except the person that gave me the positiona) and no one is the wiser that I have this money. It will stay that way. I haven't had to deal with 'long lost cousins' coming out of the wood work. Each year I anon help a family member or two, so family is not left out. When they share with me the news of the gift they received, I am happy for them. Keep your mouth shut! It is the way to go!

#139 how much was your lottery winnings?

At New York Guy #138:

You are wrong!!! The rich and the upper class DO play the lottery. Rich businessmen and former multi-million dollar lotto winners have been reported buying and winning the lottery. Even celebrities have been photographed playing the lottery!!!! There's just something about winning "free" money that makes people run to their local convenience store or play the slots at the casinos!!!

There is no way I would share my lottery winnings with anyone I don't talk to now. Not so called friends and definitely not distant family. If I'm not good enough to talk to now, Then don't "ACT" like I'm good enough when I have money. That is all it would be is an "ACT". I would just laugh and walk away if they tried to pull such a trick.

Secondly.... even my close friends would not get much from me. I would give them a little something. But I'm not going overboard with generosity. That is how people go broke. I would tell them to expect nothing and be glad if they get something. I know what my close friends need. So they would eventually get a few things.

To be honest I don't feel particularly charitable either. I'm not even sure how I would handle that. Maybe a couple of anonymous donations to the homeless. That's pretty much it.

I honestly don't have much money now. But when I do have money I am very careful with how I spend it. I do not waste and I hardly ever buy anything for myself. Chances are good that my lottery winnings would mostly just sit in a bank. Every once in a while I would check the balance.

For me the lottery represents security. It doesn't mean a non-stop party. I just want security.

I am surprised to see comments about claiming prizes anonymously. From my research there is only one state
(Delaware) that actually lets you do that. Everywhere else your name is out there for any thugs or scam artists to go after you. Kidnapping family members of rich people for ransom is practically a cottage industry in Mexico, I don't think we will be immune from that much longer here as the economy continues to tank. A couple posters have mentioned blind trusts, but the downside is that you, the owner, have no control over how money is invested (Enron? Madoff?). I would only want to invest my money in green and socially responsible funds. This situation really makes me think twice about buying a lottery ticket. (Or at least about wanting to win more than about $100,000!).

You will need a good lawyer/ team of lawyers to protect your assets, even when remaining anonymous, so you don't have to worry about potential lawsuits. It's done all the time. Get used to do a lot of research and informing yourself, at the end you are the one who makes the decisions, not your team of advisers/ planners.
And yes, the odds may be 1 in 150 million to win a jackpot, but for the ones who actually do win the odds were 1 in 1. Just something to think about.

If you win the lottery, have a trust fund or not to hide your identy. ""IF YOU TELL ANYONE"" that person at some point ""WILL"" stab you in the back and snitch you out!
At some point they will get mad at you or decide that you need to give them more money and snitch you out to everyone one or sell you out to a reporter for some cash!
The ""FEEDERS WILL FEED ON YOU"" if you give them any type of chance to feed on you!
At the very least, you will live the rest of your life dending off bogus lawsuits!
Plan on losing all your friends and family if you win the lottery. So if you want to be close to your family, don't tell them anything.
If you're found out, its time to change your name and identy and leave the state, There are companies who will help you make a new life away from the feeders and people who mean you ill will.

In Virginia if One is not a US Citizen, One needs to have a Green Card in order to claim a ticket. In other words if you are a foreign visitor in Virginia, a Tourist, and you happen to buy a Lotto ticket and you win, you will never be able to claim the ticket and be automatically disqualified and the winnings will be kept by Mega Lotto !!!!! just read the fine print in the back of the Lotto.

This is just plain absurd. Mega Lotto should have one set of Lotto Rules. Not Ten different Claiming Rules for Each State afterall Mega Lotto is multi-State. I see a big lawsuit someday and I believe some of these State Lotto Rules are really uncontitutional and discriminative.

Once a Winner claims a ticket and pays the tax, it should not be State business what the winner does with the winnings. All States participating in Mega Lotto should follow the same Lotto Rules or else leave Mega Lotto.

I can see a big Lawsuit someday where the State Lotto will not be able to stop without bleeding some bucks. These Lotto Laws like the one in Virginia are discriminative and will not succeed in the Supreme Court.

If you can't set up a blind trust, change your name and claim wearing a disguise. Anything to cover up your face.

may I do the right thing with my winnings!

Not to sound completely stupid, but if you have a winning lottery ticket, they say sign it immediately and put it in a safe place. However, if you want to remain annoyomous and set up a trust account, doesn't the ticket have to be signed in the name of the trust account? Is this safe?

I disagree with you completely. There are a number of ways to maintain the integrity of the lottery system without revealing the identities of the winners. Winners should be anonymous for personal protection. Does the name Abraham Shakespeare ring any bells? If his lottery winnings had not been publicized, he would still be alive. Lottery winners are harassed and deluged with people begging for money nearly continuously. These people have a right to their privacy. There is no reason that a system of checks and balances cannot be put into place that does not involve publicizing the names of lottery winners.

Abraham Shakespeare befriended the woman suspected of involvement in his murder three years after he won the Florida Lottery. It wasn't the state's disclosure of his identity that let her know about his wealth.

Great question MsSafetyFirst!

(I'd like to know that answer to that question as well)......

If you claim the lottery jackpot as a blind trust, how do you sign the back of the winning ticket?
Do you keep it unsigned until the trust has been formed?

I think it's totally cool that we've collected dozens of multi-million-dollar lottery winners right here on this blog! Incredible that they're so forthcoming about their techniques and tricks of the trade! Awesome, thanks!

Also, in passing, I'd like to note that most of their stories have holes in them wide enough to drive a Mack Truck through. But hey, who doesn't like a dreamer?

Props to Mr Cadenhead who does attract some colorful types.

No, I haven't won the lottery. I don't play. You kidding?

If you can't claim jackpot anonymously, can you change your identity to claim lottery winnings and then change it back to your maiden name? Sure, you'd have to get a new SSN but that's no big deal when you have millions.

Answer to California Dreamin; If you plan on claiming your winnings under a blind trust you do not sign the back of the ticket.

(I'd like to know that answer to that question as well)......

If you claim the lottery jackpot as a blind trust, how do you sign the back of the winning ticket?
Do you keep it unsigned until the trust has been formed?

I thank you all, everyone of you with all of my heart for giving such information. i just turned 21 and i've been practicing clairvoyance. And guess what...? i became good at it. if i buy a 5-block ticket, i am sure to win...

Coming to the point...when i win the lottery...i have no problems with family because i moved out 3years ago because they didn't want me doing music. i asked them(including those distant cousins and great uncles) for help so many times in my critical situations and they haven't helped me...so i wouldn't give the money to my family when i win.

coming to friends...only two are left...:) everybody else deserted me as i got poorer..don't worry i am doing financially better nowadays. anyway, so friends too are out of the question...

i have to think about the 'trust' scenario though, no idea how but i hope i will find some way...bless me.. and i think i am at an advantage here because i know how to say no to charities and long lost friends....

anything else i should be aware of?

boy i am soo excited!...thank you all!!

Wouldn't another way to keep your identity secret be to change your name (legally) before you claim the prize? Then, after you claim the prize change your name back to your original name. Its more effort and you couldn't do it with annualized payments, but if taking a lump sum payout then I believe it should work.

Remember Jack Whitaker? He won the biggest pot in history, some 365 million dollars. His daughter committed suicide, he lost his wife, his health, everything. His family required armed bodyguards 24/7 to protect them from kidnapping (I wonder how many people think about THAT!). Some of his relatives took out a murder contract on him. He was sued by over FOUR HUNDRED people trying to get his money. He has said many times that winning that lottery was "the worst thing that ever happened to him," and that he wishes he had never played it in the first place.

Even if you put it in a trust, you have to be careful. Just BUYING something expensive gets you put on all kinds of advertising and publicity lists. That's why many people recommend continuing to make house and car payments, for example.

Okay, the only way that the winner of a lottery would be assured that he/she won't be killed by the first thief in existence in the state is to keep the information as confidential as possible.

I would certainly keep my information secret and would refuse to get it broadcasted on TV/Radio, etc because I would like to enjoy the winnings, not hide away fearing for my safety because the whole worlds knows about the winnings.

So, not broadcasting names is a sure way of protecting the life of the person that won the lottery, plus protecting the safety of the family members of the winner. Just imagine how many kidnappings would occur to ask for "ransom" if such information goes public each and every time.

I fully trust in the integrity of the lottery system and do know that there are legitimate winners, and that they are not created by the gov't to take the money back, but come on? Asking for the winner's name to be made public is criminal and totally against the interests of the winner's safety to fully enjoy the winnings with all confidence knowing that his life is as safe as if he had not win.

I too wouldn't want my identity to be released, so that is why there are Partnership, LTD, ect in existence, so we can have some privacy.

I, ofcourse, would never win the lottery... but if I did, I would also remain anonymous (or attempt to.) There are too many crazy people out there. There have been winners who were MURDERED because they won the lottery and made someone(s) jealous. In fact, I'm not rich by any means... but my fiance makes a good living (to me.) He's an accountant. He also has a couple of small businesses, as well as uppermiddle class parents. His inheritance will be "large" in my opinion, as well as our insurance for Each Other, and I'm not telling anyone Squat about it (except here Anonymously: ) The only person I've mentioned this to was my sister. I trust that lady with my LIFE. She probably told her boyfriend in confidence, but he has been with her for 4 or 5 years and she once literally saved his life. So.. I trust him. : )

1) if the state allows, the 'signature' on the winning ticket can be the trust name itself

2) on a blind trust, the beneficiaries ARE STILL listed. Hence why some have suggested using an alias as a beneficiary or using another trust

3) with an LLC/LLP, the manager(s) is/are still listed. But like point two, you can layer. This may raise some flags as some may question what's being hidden. And over zealous reporters/prospectors may continue to dig but there you go.

4) some states/districts will penalize you if you win and split. The District of Columbia held a special session to prevent a winner from taking his winnings and splitting town. www.lotterypost.com

5) RE that DC $144 winning was an LLC and not a real 'corporation.' As a real corporation has shares and must name a board with chairman/CEO, which as far as I know must be a actual person.

6) as to using a lawyer to collect the money (and pose for the picture) then ditching said lawyer because you think you won't need him. Rethink. There will be repeat correspondence with the lottery board especially if annuity is selected. And on that blind trust, an address and contact/manager MUST be listed. So yes, you still need that lawyer. Only now folks will write/contact his office. And if he's good and his office is better, he will be a brick wall. Sure give him a Xmas bonus if you have the money and he's doing his job well.

7) Totally agree with splitting winnings into 3, aggressive investing, safe/slow investing aka cash reserve, and live off of.

8) If you live in a small town, quietly get the hell out. Your lawyer will still work with you regardless of where you live. There is no way to enjoy a lottery winning in a small town. Period.

9) If you live in a major metro area and want to remain in that area, take a two week vacation to a foreign country or the other side of the country. Reasonably live it up but stay away from casinos. Come back to town and quietly set up an at home business. After a year or so, the business would have done so well, you can get a new home in a wealthier neighborhood. Family would say oh the consultancy is doing well, good for you. The new neighbors would say, ah you invested against the real estate market, good for you.

10) we know you love your family. But don't 'give' them money. If you must give 12k cash. The rest, pay off their bills directly or set up blind trusts for them. They will avoid the taxes and irresponsible spending. Hopefully.

11) if the greater family finds out. Set up a charity - you specify the charter restrictions. Have it run by non family if possible or a core family board. If they want help they must apply. Stupid request are less likely to be honored and real requests like medical and schooling will. NEVER add money as this will encourage the family board to approve unwisely.

12) if you give cash, there is no way for the US gov to track. However if the cash is deposited into a bank account, the bank MUST report interest gained. Also, because of money laundering, cash deposits are audited. And a person who always makes a cash deposit for large sums of money is a red flag.

13) hence why bank transfers are best for large sums of money. But as each bank account transaction is recorded, the bank must report to the gov. If tax evasion is suspected, all documents in the bank account in question will be requested. As they research the transaction histories, the IRS/Auditors/Court can trace the money.

14) re the Freedom of Information Act, yes there are fees but don't bank on them being a deterrent. The media and academic institutions can get the fees waived or reduced. For every one else fees are a per hour ranging from $8 - $90. It depends on who's used to find the information.

Good luck


1) to prove to a lawyer you have won, provide an unsigned photocopy of the ticket. Have him agree to take you on as a client and begin work with payment for services after winnings are collected. Once he has finalized the trust/llc documents and you agree to the content, you sign the trust/llc. Then at home or in a bank's safe deposit room, YOU sign the back of the lottery ticket with the trust's/llc's name. THEN you give the ticket to the lawyer to full your directives.

2) Think of an alias as a nickname or a business name. There is no changing back and forth. Just a question of who gets to call you by that name/what situation. However, you are always free to go to court for a legal name change. There's a fee and it's perm but still rechangable. Just a judge will be annoyed if you keep changing. And may deny or accuse you of wasting the court's time.

3) you are screwed and will always be at the mercy of people who will run laps around you. Your best hope is to use the time now to educate yourself. Even without winning the lottery, there is no excuse for not reading books about successful investors or taking a community course on investing. Also, like Warren Buffett, invest in what you know. Invest in companies you can see physically (the building, the neighborhood, the customers, service). Invest in ideas where you say, "now that's a good idea." "how clever" "why didn't they think of this sooner". If a company gets that type of reaction from you, it's likely to be a good to decent investment.

oh, btw, when you sign the blind trust, THAT IS WHEN you use the alias.

I think many contributors to this discussion are missing the point. Others are certainly much too trusting.

Whether you play the lottery or not, it behooves you to know how to protect your monies and other valuables, and most importantly, your identity if the need arises. A multi million dollar lottery winning ticket is definitely one of those needs.

Since we're expressing opinions here, anyone who wins the lottery and runs right down to the Lottery Bureau to collect the money might as well commit suicide. Unless you are well accustomed to handling large sums of money, you are asking for a life of hell on earth. NEVER, EVER do that!!! Protect your identity as the winner at all (reasonable) costs.

Some things not to do: Never give they winnings to a lawyer or law firm to manage for you. NEVER, EVER DO THAT.!!! No matter what device or scheme you eventually decide to use, never give up control of the money. Lawyers have their uses. Managing other peoples' money should not be one of them. Lawyers are hired guns. Never let a lawyer do your thinking for you. Ask for their advice, and pay them for it (decide how much in advance) Then take the advice home and think about it very carefully. And don't be swayed by impressive sounding legal jargon.

My opinion, a trust is they way to go to protect your identity. And there are certain trusts available that can in fact hide your identity. The problem is, most people go to a lawyer for that information. And, as a group, lawyers are the least informed people in the world about trusts. "And, oh by the way, we do trusts, too." Uh-huh. Somewhat like the old 'First National Bank AND TRUST COMPANY'. Banks don't know very much about trusts, either. When they get beyond a 'Living Trust', with exceptions noted, they've pretty much used up their knowledge of trusts.

There are four or five viable trusts available, but they're not usually found at banks. The time to find out who is knowledgeable and trustworthy with them is NOW. Don't wait til the winning ticket is staring you in the face. Trusts can be expensive to create, and they absolutely must be done exactly right. Figure $5000 to $25,000 in fees. If you are charged more than that, look very carefully at what you are actually paying for, call time out and back away for a few days to think. In fact, do that in any event.

Here's a suggestion I plan to look into, if a big winner comes along. I want a company with experienced employees who handle big bucks every day for clients. The Raymond James, Edward Jones, CREF and others in this field. These folks should, and most do know what to advise clients about investments and generally managing large sums. They also know how to keep their mouths shut (again, exceptions noted). How much they know about legally hiding a client's identity, I intend to find out.

Even if you decide to go the Living Trust route, which is better than nothing at all, talk to your banker about creating the trust. Part of that involves creating bank accounts in the trust's name (whatever you decide to call it). And you don't have to tell the banker you have a winning lottery ticket. In fact, DON'T do that. It's none of his business.

People set up Living Trusts every day as a way to avoid probate. The less you say about your winning ticket, to ANYBODY, the happier you're going to be when the crunch comes, as it surely will. (Crunch, as in when the ticket is finally handed to the Lottery Bureau director and you say, 'my XYZ trust has a winning ticket worth 10 million'

If you've done some of the things mentioned here and elsewhere in this thread, and can keep your mouth shut long enough to let the plan, whatever it is, kick in, you can minimize much of the shit that is still going to come your way. Remember, depending on the state, you have at least 6 months (some states a year) to claim your winnings. Take lots of digital pictures of the ticket (closeups) front and back, include pics and videos of the ticket with you and your spouse along with a newspaper with the date clearly visible. Then put the ticket in a plastic freezer bag, then in a safe place (maybe a safe deposit box if you have one) until you decide what you're going to do. And remember, mums the word.

The longer you can wait (very very hard, I know) the less attention will be paid to you when you finally turn the ticket in. Some enterprising reporter will pick up on a large winner being turned in, for sure. That's why, if you delay claiming your winnings, you can make plans to move and have the moving company show up the day after the ticket is turned in. And make sure your phones are set to answering machine, and have already ordered a new unlisted phone number where ever you're moving to.

If the Raymond James people are not the answer, you're probably going to have to hire a lawyer to help you get thru this. My wife and I actually have used one recently and it worked out well. Estate planners might be of some help. Doesn't hurt to talk to one or two. But remember, never turn over control of the money to anybody. You sign every check that goes out, and for every phone, personal, email whatever request you get for money or an investment, or a charity, just tell them you've turned all of that over to your lawyer or financial adviser, and give them the phone number and hang up. And don't forget, the more potential advisers you talk to, the more people are going to know about the ticket. There's some things you probably can't avoid.

Run a Google search on Trusts and learn. But don't believe everything you read. If you read enough you'll begin to get a sense of what's real and what isn't. I know this, from messing around with them for 35 years, trusts, done properly, can be the answer.

Good luck, to us all.

As a veteran teacher, there are days when things go so badly I buy a lottery ticket just to cheer myself up and wonder "what if"? I have never won anything in my life except a giant brain tumor, but in the unlikely event that I win a lottery, I would set up a blind trust to collect the money, invest it conservatively and continue to teach. It would free me up to know that I could leave at any time, but I don't have to. I love what I do, but things can get intolerable in a hurry and I am not talking about the kids. If I cannot do a blind trust in my state, I would change my name, collect my winnings and move out of the country. I have my parents, but am estranged from all other (very unsavory) family members. I'd love to get out of the US anyway, this country has lost its collective sanity. It would be worth winning the lottery just for that opportunity.

@HarryClementine- good advice. You are obviously doing your homework, so thank you for that.

You mentioned that there are about 4 or 5 viable trusts that could work...can you give the types of trusts you are referring to? Also, did you ever discover whether the Raymond James or Edward Jones people could effectively shield someone's identity?

In appreciation.

Wow.....I think I may actually be dumber for having read these comments. I guess what they say is true, the lottery truly is a tax on the stupid.

If someone mentions the use of a "blind trust" to anonymously segregate assets, you can safely ignore everything else that comes out of their mouth. "Blind" describes a trust where the beneficiary cedes fiduciary control to a third party, something that has no bearing on the discussion at hand.

In the case of lottery winnings you would most likely look to a revocable trust as the ticket could be transferred without incurring a tax liability and the structure affords flexibility while retaining tax efficiency for gifts by naming irrevocable beneficiaries and avoiding probate upon death.

In WA, OR and many other states, all corporations, partnerships, trusts and other similar organizations and entities are recorded with the Secretary of State. All of the filings of these entity documents can be accessed online, free of charge to anyone.
It is impossible to shield identity.... so why not just change it??

What I would do:

1. shut up and dont tell anyone.

2. relocate to a large city on the opposite side of the state you currently reside.

3. legally change your name to something like Jon Smith BEFORE you claim prize.

4. apply for an EIN

5. dye your hair, wear colored contacts, get a movie quality, diguise made.

6. claim prize, stay in new city for few months.

7. move to Texas (or Delaware) for 6 months or so, setting up trusts that can keep doc. filings confidential.

8. change your name back.

9. move the created trusts to your "new" (real) name and SSN, (and those docs are NOT public record) :)

10. move back to your 'home town' or where ever you want to live.

11. shut up and don't tell anyone.

Oh, I forgot to give props to Joey.

Joey: Where is everyone coming up with this 'blind trust' mantra? Pretty stupid. They think because the word 'blind' is in it, that it means its hidden or something. I don't know.

Everyone Else: Hi everyone, please stop saying blind trust. ALL trusts are merely vehicles for property, finances and other valuables (including stocks, jewlery, etc..). These 'vehicles' allow the dispostion of those items to occure under favorable title (mainly for foreign property and monies) and tax (for foreign and USA consequences) liability.

Blind has nothing to do with whether entity documents are avaliable by the individual states. Hence to the blind trusts: anyone with a computer can find out who you are if you are in a state that relases those docs to the public.

I reckon if i was to win a whole crap load of mula, I'd throw it all in a fire proof barrel! that way i can keep all the money hounds off my tush, and guard it all with a double barrel shotgun, a gallon of moon shine and my hound 'cleatus', call a couple yamps down yonder and have me a good ole time, yeeeee haaawwwwww!

if i won i would be fine with giving my name. the criminals would have to worry abotu coming at me. plain and simple. a large house a lot of land and a no tresspassing sign. tresspassers will be shot!

I believe here in Calif if you win you can request that your name not be used. But they will release the city where the winner lives at. If I were to win I would rather remain anonymous. I don't want every car salesperson or real estate agent phoning me. Least of all having strangers show up at my front door.

A lot of you folks need to invest in a dictionary!!

Its cute that most of the people that have commented are more concerned about if theiridentity will remain secret once they win. Maybe we should take it one step at a time and just worry about winning first, then you can worry about those other little details.

When you do win the big money, its best to get your team in order before claiming your money. It just might be a good ideal to claim the money in the name of a trust. Planning ahead is a smart move for a sound mind and your finances. After all you play to win the lottery for all sorts of reasons. I agree, with some of the other posters: "KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!"

In this day and age, with these people on drugs, breakiing into houses and cars, that's all you need someone trying to rob or kidnap your children for money. Keep your name anonymous at all costs.

I agree that the Texas Lottery winner's identity should be
kept secret. Look at Leroy Fick of Detroit who is being hounded by the press and the public for collecting food
stamps after he won $2 million.
Mr Fick should read my book again.
It's called "The Lottery Code", and is available for free
from http://www.thelotterycode.net
In 1995, I discovered a hidden code in the British Lottery and in 2006 I cracked the code.
It revealed not only special lottery numbers, but also
302 messages.
Check it out and judge for yourself!

I now thing the lotto is a scam too...
A few years ago I requested a "winners list". It was mailed to me from them and I tryed to verify that the names on the list were actual winners.

They were not!! So far I have discovered the names listed corospond to names deleted from phone records,oddly the names in the phone books ended before the said person supposadly won the jackpot prize.

I later demanded a current list of jackpot winners addresses and the lottery refused to respond.

See for yourself,get the winners list, then check the phone books for each town at the time the person was said to have won,(name not listed) then check the phone book for the prior year. (name appears)

How can a person forsee winning and change his address just before winning!?

Would anyone know,how long would your lotto winnings have to main in a trust fund before you can have access to any of the winnings?

Fascinating. Especially about anonymity and wealth preservation.

I always wondered if you'd avoid initial taxation (and also help distance the winner from the publicity of the win) by directing a lump-sum payout into a start-up non-profit that's set to pay the winner (aka CEO) a decent 6 digit salary every year (and even allows him or her to do some good work). I presume the lottery/endowment could continue to grow tax-free.

It has always looked to me like many non-profits go on forever apparently having little funds left over to do their "work" after paying all salaries and administrative fees. Recent article said "Despite donations to nonprofits dropping amid the American recession, salaries for nonprofit CEOs are on the rise, and expected to rise even more in 2011 than last year.

In my area a study showed median salary of CEOs of charitable non-profits is $300,000, with a maximum of a couple of million. Several have family members as second and third top-paid executive staffers, etc.

Wonder if it could work...

1) 1st off, there are several types of Trusts that can be formed in order to protect a person's privacy. A Revocable Trust is the option I would take...

2) The owner of the trust is called the Grantor (which can be the lotto winner and also the spouse). The person who would be turning in the Lotto ticket on behalf of the Grantor is called the Trustee and then there's the Beneficiary of the Trust... the person or people who have everything to gain from the trust being established in the first place.

3) The Trust can have its own name separate and apart from the actual winners name... hence you are going to want to name it something that friends, family and old flings won't recognize as you.

4) When a trustee goes to the Lottery Commission to collect on the ticket, s/he does such on behalf of the Trust itself.

SOoOOooOOo! #152 & #149 with the above stated being said, yes you will still want to sign the ticket as a form of protection and you would want to do it as your own name unless you aren't planning on going to the lottery commission to pick up the prize money. If you are going to want to have someone else claim the prize for you, collect a bunch of non-important papers (with the lottery ticket being amongst those papers), go to your bank and open up a safety deposit box. Drop off the ticket (only after making copies and placing a copy of it online.. Oh! You're going to also want to water mark your copies with something that identifiable to ONLY you in the event someone tries to trick you and still a copy from you...

Go see your Tax Attorney, your Financial Adviser and you CPA... wait until the 'Employee ID' number has been created for the Trust to become effective, then set out to claim that prize.

#180 How long does your money have to remain in a trust before cashing in on it?

UmmMm! You may want to do some research on the various kinds of trusts that are out there... As blind Trusts are created as a means of protecting assets and property and mainly from probate court.

That being said, once the money is deposited into the "Whatever kind of Trust You've Set up for privacy purposes' bank account(s)... you have immediate access it...

The type of trust you're thinking about is a trust Fund that set up for specific individuals that payout or become available upon reaching a certain age or when certain/specific conditions have been met... These type of trusts aren't the type of trusts that people are talking about when they say "Blind Trust"...

There are Revocable, Non-Revocable Trusts and a host of other trusts that can be formed...


Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington,

Why? Because since the inception of the Powerball Game's has ventured out to the states listed above, NO ONE in has EVER won the Jackpot out of the 21 Jackpot Winners.

Don't Believe me... check it out for yourself! Just click on your state of choice and LOOK!


The Powerball just like the other Lottery Games are rigged. Play at your own RISK!

YES::I asked the clerk for the four lottery sets of numbers that is four sets of six #series for texas lotto.well they exsplained to me I picked 1 to many numbers on the first set i asked them to erase the last one as I did not make that error on the other three picks said she could not erase it because it was in ink.And then she Void it by scribleing in ink on the void box.To make a long storey short that drawing was for wensday Aug03 2011 10,000,000 Yes I would of one it is Not right strange how my numbers in order came up? just wered? No I will never play agan..!anyone including the texas lottery is welcome to see mt ticket and also whach store video if they wanted to give the money to the person ie me who picked the numbers ~ i know this to be fact.anyway I am not even upset about it.people say r wounder ifit is meant to be it will be.well guess what that may be true in in life.But not in numbers. Respectfuly writen 8/8/2011 Texasted21@yahoo.com

I won big and kept my name out of the media due to my profession. Only my wife and I know. We avoiding having greedy charities, brainwashing churches, and long forgotten relatives come out of the woodwork with their hands out looking for cash this way. We did share with our only child and I have no family. The wife did not share with her family as they treated her poorly through out her life. Yes they are bitter however with restraining orders we don't worry about them.

Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, North Dakota and Ohio allow lottery winners to conceal their identities if the winnings exceed a certain dollar amount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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