Usually, when somebody whens the lottery, the Lotto Commission or whomever stands to gain from publicizing lotto jackpots, convinces them to get their faces plastered all over the local news, announcing how much they won. Most people like attention, so the short-term pleasures of such a thing are obvious, but I've always wondered about what happens after the initial thrill has worn off and the business of being rich begins. Old relatives and high school acquaintances probably start coming out of the woodwork, hitting you up for loans that they never intend to pay back, and your loved ones may begin to treat you differently, once they know you have a life of moneyed leisure ahead of you. Given all of that, it's kind of surprising that more lotto winners don't opt for the approach taken by the New Hampshire family that recently won a $487 million Powerball jackpot: they have chosen to remain anonymous and announced the win via an attorney.
The family's $487 million winnings qualify as the eighth-biggest jackpot in the history of the US, which led to weeks of speculation about the identity of the winner following the drawing on July 30th. New Hampshire is among the only states in the country in which lottery winners even have the option to remain anonymous, if they collect their winnings through a separate trust, as this family has chosen to do.
ABC News reports that the family plans to give a hundred grand to various charitable organizations right away, including End 68 Hours of Hunger, four local food pantries near their (probable) hometown of Raymond, NH, as well as the Raymond Coalition for Youth. Interestingly, the family's evident civic-mindedness also rubbed off on the Hannaford grocery store,where the winning ticket was purchased, since the $75,000 bonus from selling the ticket, plus an extra $25,000, was also donated to charity by the store.
The winning family's lawyers (or, more accurately, their trust's lawyers) were seen at a news conference announcing the win, as well as the charitable contributions. More such contributions are planned for the future, although it isn't known whether or not they will be made public. After taxes, the $487 million comes to $256 million, so they have plenty of money left to do good works with, and according to attorney William Shaheen, that's exactly what they plan to do with it:
"There couldn't have been two better people or a better family to win this money. They're going to do great things with it."
And if you have any relatives around Raymond, New Hampshire that you haven't heard from in a while, why not give them a call? It's worth a shot.