The winner of last month’s $559million lottery is pleading with officials to allow her to remain anonymous so that she can avoid the eery lotto ‘curse’ which has fallen on previous winners.
The unnamed woman is currently locked in a court dispute over whether or not she will be allowed to claim her winnings without revealing her name.
She accidentally wrote it on the back of her ticket and cannot score it out without tampering with the piece of paper which is forbidden by state officials.
New Hampshire’s Lottery Executive Director has also pointed to local laws which state that a winner’s name, town and prize amount are public knowledge.
They are due to return to court later this month. In her filing, the woman’s lawyers said she wanted to be spared the ‘misfortune that has often fallen upon other lottery winners.’
That misfortune is nothing to be laughed at, however ironic.
Targeted by a con-woman, murdered and buried under concrete
In 2006, Florida man Abraham Shakespeare, 42, won $17million. He was killed three years later by DeeDee Moore, a woman who had targeted him for the money.
DeeDee had managed to take almost $2million from Shakespeare by the time she orchestrated his killing.
She and her boyfriend buried him beneath a concrete slab in a wooded area afterwards.
He was missing for several months before she eventually admitted where his body was.
Abraham Shakespeare (seen left with relatives) won the Florida Lottery in November 2006. He was targeted by Dee Dee Moore who swindled $1.8million out of him then had her boyfriend kill him
Shot in the head by sister-in-law who wanted the winnings
In 1996, 39-year-old Jeffrey Dampier won $20million in Illinois.
Jeffrey Dampier was murdered in 2005 by his sister-in-law, ten years after winning $20million
He lived happily for years to come, spending the money on his family, but was murdered in 2005 by his sister-in-law and her husband.
He was married when he won the lottery in 1996 and when he and his first wife separated, they decided to split what remained of the winnings in half.
He later moved to Florida and remarried, to Crystal Jackson.
While living in Tampa, he embarked on an affair with his wife’s sister Vanessa.
Vanessa and her husband Nathaniel lured him the apartment which he paid for them to live in on July 26, 2005, and shot him in the back of the head.
It’s not clear why they thought they would inherit his money. His widow Crystal said in 2015 that she would never ‘go near’ the lottery, telling WFLA: ‘It’s a curse.’
Stabbed to death by ex-boyfriend
Doris Murray won $5million in Georgia in 2007. She was stabbed to death a year later by an ex-boyfriend
Doris Murray, 42, won $5million in 2007.
The woman from Dublin, Georgia, wanted to use the money on a trust fund for her grandchildren but she was stabbed to death a year after claiming her prize.
Derrick Lorenzo Stanley, her ex-boyfriend- was charged with killing her.
She wanted her prize in $172,000, yearly installments to be paid over 20 years. It is now paid to whoever was in her will.
At the time of her death, police said she and Stanley had gotten into a fight and she tried to end the relationship.
Neighbors called the police when they saw him leaving her modest apartment block with blood on her face.
Hit by a car on the way home from celebrating her win
In 2010, in Sandusky, Ohio, 47-year-old winner Deborah McDonald was on her way home from a bar where she had been celebrating her $5,000 windfall when she was hit by a car.
Her death is believed to have been an accident.
She had just won the more modest sum on the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion.
Deborah McDonald won $5,000 in Sandusky, Ohio, on the Cash Explosion in 2010. She was hit by a car as she walked home from celebrating the win and later died. It was an accident
It was a pre-taped show which aired several days after her murder.
After claiming her winnings at the television studio, McDonald took her friends and family out for dinner and drinks.
She also bought her and her husband wedding rings which they could never afford before.
Stalked by strangers asking for handouts until he killed himself
Billie Bob Harrell won $31million in the Texan lottery in 1997.
Billie Bob Harrell killed himself in 1999, two years after winning $31million in the Texan lottery
A Home Depot worker with a wife and three children to support, he was eager for a taste of the high life and quit his job not long after claiming his prize.
Harrell also donated generously to charities and bought friends and relatives cars and homes.
One year, he bought more than 400 turkeys for needy families to enjoy on Thanksgiving.
His reputation for generosity caught up with him and he and his family had to move to avoid strangers coming to their home to ask for money.
He also had to change his phone number to escape the requests.
Impatient to get his hands on all his winnings, he took a bad deal from a company which pays out lump sums in exchange for all of lottery winners’ future installments.
It meant he actually got less than he would have done had he waited for the yearly payments. Harrell and his wife divorced and in May 1999, just two years after he won, he shot himself.
He was 47.
Robbed, turned to booze and forced to mourn drug deaths of his daughter and granddaughter before house went up in flames
Jack Whittaker won $315million in 2002
Jack Whittaker has the worst pattern of luck of any lottery winner.
In 2002, the West Virginia businessman won $315million but his life soon descended into tragedy.
A year later, thieves broke into his car and stole $545,000 which he carried in it in a suitcase.
They stole another $200,000 the following year.
In 2005, Whittaker’s granddaughter Brandi was found dead, wrapped in plastic with drugs in her system.
Her own boyfriend had died of a drug overdose months earlier. The official cause of her death is not known.
Two years later, her mother – Whittaker’s daughter Ginger – died of a drug overdose.
By the time of her death, he said his bank accounts were empty. He blamed his relatives deaths’ on the winning ticket, assuming that they bought the drugs which killed them with his money.
‘My granddaughter is dead because of the money. She was the shining star of my life, and she was what it was all about for me.
‘You know, my wife said she wished that she had torn the ticket up. Well, I wish that we tore the ticket up too,’ he told ABC’s 20/20.
Whittaker’s daughter Ginger (far left) and his granddaughter Brandi (second left) both died of drug overdoses which he blames on his winning ticket
Squandered money on gambling and now lives in a trailer park
Evelyn Basehore, 64, is now living in a trailer park
Evelyn Basehore, now 64, won $3.9million in 1985 and won an additional $1.4million the following year in New Jersey.
The woman had a crippling gambling habit and gave much of her money away to friends who were equally addicted.
By the 2000, the only home she could afford was in a trailer park.
‘Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out,’ she told Bankrate in 2012.
She added: ‘I won the American dream, but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It’s called rock bottom.
‘I never learned one simple word in the English language: “no.”
‘I wish I had the chance to do it all over again. Most times, I wish I didn’t play. But I do play it still once in a while,’ she added.
Donated millions to colleges and the Clintons then filed for bankruptcy
Janite Lee won $18million in 1993 in St Louis, Missouri.
She donated much of her fortune to the University of Washington and the school used to build a new library.
But just eight years after collecting her prize, she filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
Lee was in her 50s when she won.
She and her husband had emigrated from South Korea to the United States with his three children in the 1970s.
Among her causes was Bill Clinton who she gave a fundraiser for in 1997.
Later, she was on a list of prominent donors who gave to the Democratic National Committee.
Janite Lee with Bill Clinton at a fundraiser she organized for him after her 1993 $18million win. She declared bankruptcy in 2001