Powerball winner fighting in court to remain anonymous

MERRIMACK, N.H - A New Hampshire woman who won the $560 million Powerball jackpot is fighting in court to remain anonymous.

The winning ticket was sold at the Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack last month.

"It's what every store owner dreams of, selling a jackpot.. and it happened to me and I'm very happy," said store owner Sam Safa.

But the winner who bought it does not want to be identified. Last week, her lawyers even filed a lawsuit suing the Lottery Commission officials to keep her identity private.

According to the suit, the woman "read the instructions on the commission's website" and "signed the back of the ticket" without realizing "her privacy was forever lost."

New Hampshire Lottery Commission rules require a winner sign the ticket before being able to claim a prize. If she had signed the back of the ticket as the name of a trust she could have maintained her privacy. The lottery executive director said those rules are in place for security reasons.

The lawsuit names other lottery winners - who've been assaulted to even murdered after their names went public.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

"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.  After consulting with the New Hampshire Attorney General's office on this matter, we have been advised that the Lottery must proceed in accordance its rules and by state law in processing this claim like any other."

– New Hampshire Lottery executive director Charlie McIntyre

There will be hearing on the lawsuit on Feb. 21.