How can a $30M lottery winner remain anonymous?
There will be no big reveal of the winner of the largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot in B.C. history.
The winning $30-million ticket from the April 25 draw was purchased at the IGA on Parkway Boulevard in Coquitlam. In a rare move, the B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has granted anonymity to the person who claimed the prize.
BCLC rules require lottery jackpot winners to agree to having their names, photos, places of residence and prizes published, but according to Vancouver lawyer Ravi Hira, a partner with Hira Rowan LLP, they “have the discretion not to do so if there’s a real public safety concern.”
BCLC said it investigates anonymity requests on a case-by-case basis and this is only the fourth time it’s been granted in the last three years, with all the other prizes being less than $100,000.
“The circumstances must be extraordinary and substantiated with evidence that is verifiable and capable of independent confirmation,” said a BCLC news release.
LISTEN: Who was the winner of $30 million?
Hira told Global News that someone in an abusive spousal relationship, a maximum security prison inmate or someone who is the subject of extortion could all potentially qualify under extraordinary circumstances.
“Or if you’re a confidential informer or if you’re an undercover operator working on a file for the police either as a policeman or as an agent…your name and your face smiling with a $30-million cheque might be a personal safety problem for you.”
Others have gone to great lengths to try and keep their identities secret.
The Langley winners of a $50-million Lotto Max jackpot from March 2014 spent almost two years and $500,000 to avoid publicity –using a lawyer to set up a trust — thinking they could collect the cash and skip the spotlight.
The BCLC ultimately determined a trust cannot claim a prize and Friedrich Mayrhofer and his family finally faced the cameras to pick up their cheque in December 2015.
For anyone wanting to lay low with their winnings, Hira suggests retaining a lawyer to claim the jackpot for you.
“That lawyer would be put in lawful possession of the ticket. He or she could claim the prize for his or her client and then deliver the funds to the client for a fee.”
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