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Shh, I Won the Lottery—Don’t Tell Anyone

How to win the lottery and remain anonymous

Mo Money Mo Problems

In the famous words of Notorious B.I.G, “The more money you make, the more problems you get. And jealousy and envy is something that comes with the territory.”

No matter how you become wealthy, there are going to people who want to cash in on your good fortune and want some kind of hand out. It is no wonder that people who win the lottery want to remain anonymous. With some lottery winners reporting instances where they received death threats, complete strangers asking for money, people saying they were owed money; the list just goes on.

You may be wondering if it is possible to collect your lottery winnings without disclosing your identity. In most instances, no matter what country you live in, your name and identity is treated as public record if you win the lottery.

Little do people know that when they sign a prize-claim form in order to receive their money, they are also agreeing to do media interviews and appear in ads and other lottery promotions. This, of course, is putting them into the spotlight and making it possible for people to come out of the woodwork.

Protection behind an LLC

You may be wondering how (or even if) you can collect your lottery winnings without becoming a local celebrity. Well, if you live in the US, some states allow you to collect anonymously. Unfortunately, this is not always an option in many states and countries across the globe.

One way you can protect your identity is by creating an LLC, or a limited liability company. One couple in Illinois won $30 million back in 2011. Instead of jumping into the spotlight, they kept their winnings quiet and sought the legal and financial advice of an attorney. Within a month, their attorney set up an LLC for the couple and through that LLC, they were able to collect their winnings without their names being used. Not only does creating an LLC keep your name out of the public records, but you can also create tax benefits.

Create a Trust

Usually, lotteries only allow one winner to claim a winning ticket. In instances where people pitch in to purchase a lottery ticket, only one of those people can claim the prize. This is where a lawyer comes in handy. The lawyer will create the trust and then claim the lottery winnings on behalf of that trust. Then the money will be split evenly among those listed in the said trust. It may sound like a lot to go through, but having your identity out of the papers is probably worth it in the end.

Always Use a Lottery Agent

If you truly want to be anonymous, you may want to choose to play the lottery through an agency. This allows you to stay anonymous and the agency gets free publicity. You pay the agency to play your numbers and if you should win, they will collect the prize for you, and then turn it over to you.

Just Ask

In some instances, all you have to do is ask to remain anonymous. While it is not a common practice to allow a winner to remain anonymous, there have been instances where they will let it happen.

The Aftermath

Another way to retain your anonymity is by keeping quiet and draw little to no attention to you or your winnings. Suppose you were able to collect your prize anonymously, you do not want to go gallivanting around the city flashing your cash around. That would make the whole “collect the money anonymously” pointless. Try to remain as normal as possible if you do not want people to take notice of your win.

Of course, if you do want to go hog wild and spend like crazy, you may want to move to an area where no one knows you. That way, if the neighbors see you roll up into your driveway with a fancy car, they will think you have a really good job, rather than just became a millionaire overnight.