What is the best way to claim a winning lottery ticket anonymously?

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    I suspect it wouldn't be possible, and that it would be against several tax laws in some jurisdictions. – Ryan The Leach Oct 24 '18 at 0:22
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    @RyanTheLeach I assume the intent to remain anonymous to the public, not necessarily the IRS. – D Stanley Oct 24 '18 at 0:39
  • Seven states allow winners to shield their identities (Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas) – Bob Baerker Oct 24 '18 at 2:49

I'm sure you won't have that problem, but just in case:

Several states allow the price to be claimed anonymously. It is unclear if the lottery company wouldn't know who you are, but it definitely means that the public and the press would not know who you are.

In the other states, you could send a lawyer with a power of attorney to handle it for you, or found a trust that receive the money, without your name being publicly on it.
However, typically you signed away your rights to anonymity by buying a lottery ticket - you agreed that if you win, the lottery company can use you picture, video, and name for advertisements, and sometimes you are even required to cooperate (meaning show up, dress nicely, and smile when they take the pictures/videos), otherwise, you simple don't get the winning price. You can read this in the fine print on their website; each state will be probably very different.

Although the lottery company might not report you to the IRS, they will keep the highest possible tax rate from your winnings (and send them to the IRS).
If you never file with the IRS after that, you effectively overpaid on taxes, so the IRS couldn't care less who you are.

Probably the best approach is to sit the circus out, and move afterwards to a different state or country.

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    The IRS will most definitely know exactly who you are and what you won. – D Stanley Oct 24 '18 at 0:48

It will depend on the state. Most states do not allow anonymous winners for purposes of transparency and trust. Would you want someone from the Lottery Commission to rig the lottery in their favor and claim the prize anonymously?

One way to possibly hide your true identity is to create a Blind Trust, and claim the winnings in the name of the trust. Again, though, some states may not allow this for the same reasons.

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  • There's no such thing as winning anonymously ... the Lottery Commission knows who won. However I think it's unethical to allow them to require usage of your person if you win. A simple solution would be to hire law firms, which change every week, to act as oversight to insure the winners are legit. What possible reason does the public have to know who won? (none). – Randy Zeitman Nov 16 '18 at 5:01
  • @RandyZeitman I (and presumably others) mean anonymous from the public. Certainly the commission (and related tax entities) need to know your identity. One reason for preventing anonymity is for transparency and accountability - would you want the head of the commission to anonymously win millions of dollars by rigging the lottery? – D Stanley Nov 16 '18 at 14:31
  • I believe I answered that before you apparently deleted and reposted your answer. – Randy Zeitman Nov 16 '18 at 14:55
  • @RandyZeitman Not sure what you mean - I did not delete and report my answer. – D Stanley Nov 16 '18 at 14:57
  • You replied to my answer ... "@RandyZeitman" ... after I replied to yours. I answered your question "would you want the head of the commission to anonymously win millions of dollars by rigging the lottery" ... which is that it's not a problem, simply have oversight through law firms. – Randy Zeitman Nov 16 '18 at 16:13

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