It's time to play pretend. Let's pretend you just discovered that you are holding a winning lottery ticket valued at $560 million. On one hand, you are over the moon excited about what all this financial freedom will mean for you and your family.

On the other hand, you are terrified of the prison that this financial freedom will create as you attempt to avoid unwanted advances from those seeking, no, demanding a hand out from your winnings.

This battle is currently being waged in a New Hampshire courtroom where the recent winner of the $560 million Powerball jackpot is hoping to collect the cash and keep the life she has come to know and love.

Lottery officials maintain that identifying the winner provides legitimacy for other lottery players. They see a name, a person, a big check, they have now been reassured that the game is on the up and up. It also is a major marketing opportunity for the lottery to show a picture of a real person having all of their financial nightmares turn to dreams.

Attorneys for the woman in question, named Jane Doe for this court case, say that announcing her name will basically destroy her life as she knows it. Just imagine not being able to go to the grocery store, a restaurant, or even take a walk without being tagged as "the lady who won the lottery". Trust me the scam artists and ne'er do wells will be lined up for a chance to get their piece of her pie.

The law isn't on the woman's side.

The New Hampshire Lottery understands that winning a $560 million Powerball jackpot is a life-changing occurrence. Having awarded numerous Powerball jackpots over the years, we also understand that the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players, and our games. While we respect this player's desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.

So, what would you do? Take the money and give up the life you know and love or forgo the money and return to a life that offers something less than total financial security. Personally, I hope the woman can get the cash and stay in the shadows. That's how I would want to win the lottery.

I don't think the courts will rule this way. I think the very unlucky lucky lottery winner will have to come out of the shadows and into the spotlight of a world that always seems to have its hand out. To paraphrase the iconic cartoon Super Chicken, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it". Just like she should have known the rules when she purchased a ticket.

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