Lotto winner gets her money, makes donations
Plans to give away between $25 and $50 million of Powerball jackpot
CONCORD — One local woman is richer by hundreds of millions of dollars, and two New Hampshire charities got sizable donations.
“She realizes how lucky she is, and she realizes the responsibility she has to do the right thing,” said William Shaheen, one of the attorney’s for the anonymous woman who won a more than $500 million Powerball jackpot.
After Lottery Commission Executive Director Charles McIntyre handed Shaheen and his law partner Steve Gordon a check for more than $350 million, the lump sum amount the winner is receiving, Shaheen handed out check to Girls Inc., and to End 68 Hours of Hunger.
The winner, who is fighting in court to remain anonymous, plans to make many more donations to more charities, Shaheen said. She bought her winning ticket at Reeds Ferry Market in Merrimack.
“My client doesn’t want any accolades, and she doesn’t want any credit, she just wants to do good things,” Shaheen said.
Shaheen said his client had never been in a position to give to any charity before her win, and now wants to do her part to make sure children in New Hampshire are fed, warm and safe. Girls Inc. got $150,000, and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger, in Nashua, Derry, and Dover, each received $33,000.
Jenn Morton and Melisa Baxter were stunned when they got the phone call about the donation to their chapter of End 68 Hours of Hunger. The $33,000 donation covers the all-volunteer organizations budget for an entire year.
“We rely solely on donations, so this is a big stress reliever for us,” Baxter said.
End 68 Hours of Hunger provides children with meals to get them through the weekend. The group typically works with schools to help children who may only be able to eat because of school meals programs.
The organization uses only volunteers and 100 percent of the donations go to feeding children. Morton said the Nashua chapter right now if feeding 200 children through four different elementary schools. This $33,000 donation will allow the organization to expand and feed more children.
The woman is fighting the state Lottery Commission in court to remain anonymous after she signed her name on the winning ticket. The commission maintains that her name should be a public record. While lottery winners can remain anonymous, the law requires that they not sign their name to the ticket, but instead sign the name of a trust that will receive the money. The woman has since created a trust to take the money, but the commission is fighting in court to uphold the law on public disclosures.
“The last thing we want to do is stand between a winner and their money,” McIntyre said.
The court case has yet to be decided. Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple ruled that the woman could get her money anonymously while he decides if her name should be released as a public record. Shaheen said they plan to appeal if Temple rules against them.
Even as she makes plans to give away a good chunk of her fortune and set up investments to keep her from financial worry for the rest of her life, Shaheen said his client will still buy lottery tickets.
“She’s a believer,” Shaheen said. “You can bet your life on that.”
Baxter and Morton said they are looking for two more volunteers for End 68 Hours of Hunger in Nashua. People interested in helping the organization can call 412-423-6368, or email email@example.com.
Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_DF.