The world may never know who won a $560 million Powerball jackpot, according to a court ruling issued Monday in favor of the woman's request to remain anonymous.
In the end, the court sided with the woman, saying disclosing her name would amount to an invasion of privacy.
A New Hampshire judge ruled Monday that the victor of a $559.7 million Powerball jackpot prize can remain anonymous.
After Jane Doe realized she had won, the victor filled in the back of the ticket, then contacted lawyers who told her that a trustee of a trust could collect the prize and she could remain anonymous.
New Hampshire Lottery officials argued the state's right-to-know law allowed them to reveal her name.
Temple found there was "no evidence" the New Hampshire State Lottery Commission was engaged in fraudulent activity, noting the drawing takes place in Florida. Furthermore, he said that given the structure of the Powerball lottery game, the chance of any corruption or error attributable to the Commission is extremely low.
He ruled that disclosing the name of the victor "would constitute an invasion of privacy" under state law, and that it therefore qualifies as an exemption from the state's right-to-know law, according to The Union Leader.
"The court has no doubts whatsoever that should Ms. Doe's identity be revealed, she will be subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation, and other unwanted communications", Temple wrote.
The Lottery's executive director Charlie McIntyre said: "While we were expecting a different outcome and believed the State had a strong argument, we respect the court's decision".
The highly anticipated ruling capped a legal saga that began January 29, when Doe sued the Lottery Commission for the right to remain nameless when she claimed her windfall.
Billy Shaheen, a lawyer for the New Hampshire victor, who was described in court papers only as Jane Doe, said that his client was elated to hear the news.
Attorneys for Doe last week collected the winnings on behalf of her Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust. "That said, we will consult with the Attorney General's office to determine appropriate next steps regarding the case".
Abraham Shakespeare, the victor of a $30 million lottery prize in 2006, was approached two years later by a woman who said she was writing a book about how people were taking advantage of him, became his financial adviser and slowly siphoned away his money.