Not too many things top winning the lottery -- except perhaps -- being able to claim your winnings anonymously. Only a few states, however, allow you to remain anonymous. The state the lottery ticket was purchased in has jurisdiction. Most states treat lottery winners' names as a matter of public record.
Sign the back of your lottery ticket. The ticket itself is the winning instrument. Until you take it to your state's lottery office, you are not yet the official winner. If you lose the ticket, you lose your claim to the jackpot.
Verify the state in which the ticket was purchased. If the ticket was purchased in Ohio, North Dakota, Michigan, Delaware, Kansas or Maryland, remaining anonymous will be easier. Those six states have provisions for protecting lottery winners' identities, although there are some exceptions in other states.
Contact an attorney, preferably one who deals in estate planning. You may be able to use a blind trust to claim your winnings through a representative, keeping your own name off the record books. Consult with an attorney about your wish to remain anonymous. Your attorney will be able to explain your options. If a trust is required, your attorney can help you set one up and serve as your representative. Blind trusts are revocable so you could dissolve the agreement later if you change your mind.
Locate your nearest lottery office. Call the phone number on the winning ticket or look up your state's nearest lottery office using the Internet. Contact the lottery office to make an appointment for collecting your winnings.
Claim your winnings anonymously. Keep the news under wraps in your inner circle, as news like this can leak out fast and quickly spread throughout your community. While it may not necessarily be public record broadcasting your fortune means you could still end up being identified.
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.