Joe Claffy. Joe Denette. Isabel Zelaya. Janet Alnwick. Brad Duke. Neal Wanless. Palmira Nicolo. Paul Rosenau. What do these people have in common? They are all huge lottery winners. What else might they have in common? They probably all received a lot of unsolicited phone calls after being announced as lotto winners. Do you think that these people wished they had unlisted phone numbers prior to claiming their prizes? Yeah, probably.
Everybody wishes they could win the lottery; it would be a dream come true. But many people don’t consider the consequences of their fame after claiming a big jackpot. If they would only know what’s coming.
Why would people want to phone a lottery winner? Simple, they want money. It could be charities looking for donations, business people like financial planners prospecting for new clients, or even long-lost friends or relatives that are suddenly looking to re-connect. It could become a big invasion of privacy for new lottery winners.
Some people think that if they claim a jackpot anonymously, nobody would know their name and, so, wouldn’t be able to look up their phone numbers. But most lotteries in North America require names of jackpot winners to be published. This is important for public perception of the lottery. So, you cannot claim anonymously. However, you can get around that in a select few U.S. states. You can claim anonymously in Ohio, for example. In 2006, a $265 million Mega Millions jackpot was claimed by a trust, and lottery officials could only say that the winning ticket was sold in the Cincinnati area. That person obviously didn’t want any phone calls.
There are a select few states that have a law that requires lottery corporations to keep the identity of lottery winners a secret if it is requested, including Delaware, Kansas, and North Dakota. You don’t have to worry about getting an unlisted phone number if you win the lottery in those states.
If you aren’t lucky enough to live in one of the states that allow you to claim a lottery prize anonymously and you value your privacy, probably the best thing you could do is get an unlisted phone number prior to making your claim