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Lottery Winners: Which country forces you to come out of the shadows

Mon 30 Nov 2015, By Patty Reynolds
These countries are the ones that let you remain anonymous in if you win the lottery

Winning the lottery is possibly one of the happiest, most exciting and surprising moments in a person's life.

Imagine matching all the winning numbers and scooping the jackpot prize that would financially set you up until well past your retirement age.

It's possible that it could happen to you, as thousands of lottery winners are now living their dream lives with their newfound wealth. One of the first hurdles when collecting these millions is maintaining anonymity; as many winners are simply unprepared for the sudden fame that accompanies their jackpot win. The rules for this vary across the world, and while certain countries allow winners to maintain their privacy, some simply do not. Now, let's discover exactly which countries or states will allow their winners to stay anonymous or not.

The United States

There are only six states in USA that allow the jackpot lottery winner to remain anonymous. These are South Carolina, Ohio, North Dakota, Maryland, Kansas and Delaware. Every other state forces the jackpot winners to be publicly identified.


According to the provincial lottery regulations of Canada, all winners are obligated to participate in a public photo shoot that identifies their face, name and region. The Canadian lottery maintains that this is done for transparencies sakes, as there have been complaints in the past that large corporations or lottery merchants were buying thousands of tickets in order to win the lottery jackpots. In the terms and agreements of the lottery tickets bought, it states that winners must participate in a public ceremony. There have been some slight exceptions to this rule such as in 2008 when the Western Canada Lottery Corporation allowed a Winnipeg winner to maintain their anonymity, as the winner feared for their life! The Canadian lottery states that if there is a legitimate security threat against a winner, then they will allow the player to stay anonymous.

UK and Europe

All lottery winners have the right to remain anonymous or not. As a means of helping a lottery winner to publicly announce their results, the European lottery board will employ its PR team to setup a press conference and even talk on the winner's behalf (which removes most of the anxiety that many lottery winners face). Lottery winners that select to remain anonymous will have their details sealed away and according to the lottery board, these details are never revealed to the public.

Want to stay out of the spotlight if you win the jackpot? Lottery winners should adhere to this advice:

  • If you are a winner and have the choice to stay to anonymous, please do so
  • Stick to limited public exposure until the hype blows over
  • Those who're in a State that forces them to publically announce their winnings should say as little as possible during the announcement.