Jill Kolodner | May 27, 2023 | Maryland Law
If you are lucky enough to win big in the Maryland Lottery, there is a very good chance that a lot of people will suddenly try to become your new best friend, and family members you barely know will be texting you night and day.
Money simply has that effect on people, and in such an incredible situation, you may reasonably decide that you want to avoid the publicity that comes with being announced as a lottery winner. The issue, though, is knowing whether that is even possible.
Maryland Typically Allows Anonymity
Maryland is generally considered to be one of the seven states that allow lottery winners to stay anonymous. Provision 4-103 of the Maryland Code is typically interpreted in such a way that allows lotto winners to remain anonymous, but that understanding may be precarious.
In simpler terms, the regulation prevents government officials from sharing the financial information of individuals as part of a public records request, and that has been interpreted to include lottery winnings. Be that as it may, that particular approach hasn’t been tested in court and could be found to be incorrect if it is.
However, the Maryland Lottery’s website indicates that people who win prizes from FAST PLAY tickets, Maryland Lottery draw game tickets, or scratch-offs can remain anonymous. Your name will not be released unless you provide consent.
This protection doesn’t extend to Points for Drawings and second-chance contests through the My Lottery Rewards program. These are considered promotions, and winners’ identities are published.
How to Stay Anonymous After Winning a Maryland Lottery Prize
If you wish to stay anonymous after winning millions, you shouldn’t rely solely on the above information to protect your identity. You should also take some of the following steps to protect your identity:
Don’t Share with Anyone
The best way to keep a secret is to simply never tell anyone. If you tell even one person, your secret may spread uncontrollably. Sadly, that means holding back from family members. However, the one relative you should, in fact, inform is your spouse, seeing as your winnings will have substantial financial implications for them as well.
Most importantly, don’t post about your win on any social media platform. That is a surefire way for your name to become public knowledge, no matter how many safeguards you put on the post.
Don’t Suddenly Make Big Purchases
Money that is spent is money that can be traced. If one day you own a 15-year-old Subaru and the next you drive home a brand-new Lamborghini, people will quickly determine that you came into money.
You can live a more than comfortable life and enjoy plenty of extravagances without flaunting it. Hire a live-in cook, and most people will realize you are suddenly rich, but order delivery or go out to eat every night, and people probably won’t notice.
Set Up a Trust
Establishing a trust fund requires that you tell someone. But that person is an attorney, and they are required by law to be discreet; not to mention, you are paying them to help you be discreet. In any case, a trust should shield your assets and protect you from bad actors trying to steal your winnings.
Why You May Want to Stay Anonymous After Winning the Lottery in Baltimore
Sadly, there are plenty of good reasons to stay anonymous after winning such life-changing money.
People could do any of the following once they find out:
- Try to steal your identity to get your money
- Assault and rob you
- Beg for money any time they need help
- Try to convince you to invest in risky ventures
- Spread rumors about you
In short, becoming rich can make you a target of people who are greedy or jealous. Hiding your identity can protect you from people who would take advantage of your good fortune.
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