Charity

NH Powerball winner to stay anonymous, donates $100K to charity

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The winner of a $487 million New Hampshire Powerball ticket will remain anonymous, according to lottery officials, who announced on Monday that a trust has been set up to claim the prize.

The winner hired the Concord law firm of Shaheen and Gordon to set up the Robin Egg 2016 Nominee Trust.

The prize money was distributed to the trust last week, said Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the lottery commission. He introduced attorney William Shaheen, serving as trustee, during a press conference at lottery headquarters.

“They truly want to do good things with this; probably it’s going to be a significant percentage,” said Shaheen. “In order for them to do good things, they need anonymity, but there couldn’t be two better people or a better family to win this money than these people, because they are going to do great things with it.”

Had the winner signed the lottery ticket, their name would have been disclosed as the ticket is a public document. By signing on behalf of the trust, Shaheen was able to abide by lottery rules that require disclosure of the winner, without actually identifying them.

“This winning ticket has received an extraordinary amount of interest,” said McIntyre. “While we certainly wish we could have met our Powerball winners in person, we appreciate and respect that they have chosen to try to live as normal a life as possible.”

McIntyre identified the winners as New Hampshire residents. “It certainly makes me happy that they are local to New Hampshire and not from out of state,” he said.

The trust announced $100,000 in donations to local charities, matching the money donated by the Raymond Hannaford that sold the winning ticket. Shaheen described the donations as “the first step in a long journey of giving.”

End68 Hours of Hunger received $40,000; Raymond Coalition for Youth, $30,000; SNHS Raymond Food Pantry, $11,000; Providence Baptist Church Food Pantry, $11,000; Deerfield Food Pantry, $5,000; and Raymond Baptist Church Food Pantry, $3,000.

The $487 million prize is the largest jackpot ever won on a ticket sold in New Hampshire, and the fifth largest in the history of the multi-state Powerball game. A winning Powerball ticket was last sold in New Hampshire in 2007.

Granite State winners have used a trust to obscure their identity only three or four times in the 52-year history of the state lottery, according to McIntyre.

“These folks exercised extreme discipline and didn’t sign their name on the back of the ticket, which is why the trustee was able to sign on behalf of the trust and claim the ticket,” he said. “They held on to it for 30 days, and the first I knew they won was when attorney Shaheen contacted our office and that was weeks after the win.”

The winners had two options – a lump-sum cash payment of $341.7 million or annuity payments over 30 years totaling $487 million. They opted for the one-time cash option, which netted $256.3 million after federal taxes.

Shaheen said he chose the name Robin Egg for the trust, “Because it represents joy, it represents spring, it represents new beginnings. That’s how I came up with the name.”

Representatives of the various charities were on hand for photos and interviews, all expressing gratitude to their anonymous benefactor.

Celeste Clark, executive director of the Raymond Coalition for Youth, said the $60,000 the organization has received ($30,000 from the winners and $30,000 from Hannaford) amounts to half its annual budget.

“It was like winning the lottery,” she said. “We were taken completely by surprise.”

Much of the money will be used to fund an anti-heroin campaign the group is launching in October.

“There aren’t any words to say how much we appreciate this,” said Bill Sparks, a board member of the coalition.

Source: Union Leader

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