Can you stay anonymous after winning the Powerball? - CBS46 News

Can you stay anonymous after winning the Powerball?

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The odds of winning Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot aren’t great, one in 292,201,338. But what if you do win?

The first thing you have to think about after you win is which payout structure you want.

The lump sum payout comes to around $443.3 million, or you can win all $700 million if you’re willing to take the annuity ($700 million in 30 installments paid out once a year). After the 39 percent federal tax, the cash payout option drops down to $427 million, so it’s something to think about.

The next thing you have to think about is contacting a lawyer and a financial planner. Can you stay anonymous and collect your winnings? Currently, only six states allow lottery winners to stay anonymous: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.

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If you live in one of those states, staying anonymous is easy. But what if you don’t live in any of those states, what are your options? It's hard to stay truly anonymous, but there are steps you can take to protect your identity. 

Financial advisor and CBS and Forbes contributor Robert Pagliarini wrote in a 2016 Forbes article that winners can set up a blind trust with a limited liability corporation or they can set up a trust within a trust.

A blind trust requires a person to create an entity, either a trust or an LLC, making sure to name the trust or LLC something other than their name. The trust or LLC can be named anything.

Unlike a blind trust set up by a politician, the owner of the trust would have 100 percent complete control of the trust, assets and decisions.

Winners can also set up a trust within a trust.

Pagliarini detailed this method, saying winners can set up a “claiming trust” and a “bridge trust.” This sounds complicated, but basically boils down to a trust that claims the winnings, usually under an LLC, and then transfers the assets to the “bridge trust,” which is controlled by the lottery winner.  

The Powerball jackpot drawing will be at 11 p.m. on Wednesday. If no one wins, the jackpot will roll over and its next drawing will be on Saturday. 

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