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How to remain anonymous after winning the lottery in New Mexico?

Winning the lottery can be an exhilarating and life-changing experience. However, it also comes with challenges, especially when it comes to remaining anonymous. Lottery winners often become targets for scams, unwanted publicity, and requests from friends and family. In some states, lottery winners’ names and personal information are made public by law. However, in New Mexico, lottery winners can remain anonymous if they wish. This article will explore the steps you need to take to keep your identity secret after hitting the jackpot in New Mexico.

Claiming your prize anonymously in New Mexico

New Mexico is one of a handful of states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous. If you win a jackpot in New Mexico, you have the right to keep your identity hidden by claiming your prize through a trust. Here is the process:

Form an anonymous trust

The first step is to set up a trust through an attorney and have the trust claim the prize on your behalf. The lottery will pay the winnings to the trust, and your name will be kept out of the public eye. Make sure you choose an attorney you trust completely, as they will know your identity.

Assign a trustee to handle publicity

Appoint a trustee of the trust who can make public appearances and speak on behalf of the winner to handle any required publicity by the lottery commission. This way, you avoid having to show your face or disclose your identity. Make sure the trustee signs a confidentiality agreement swearing to keep your identity secret.

Claim the prize

Have the trustee of the trust claim the prize money in-person at the lottery headquarters on behalf of the trust. The lottery officials will likely try hard to get you to agree to a press conference or other public event, but legally in New Mexico, you have the right to refuse this. Stick to your guns and accept the money anonymously.

Pay applicable taxes

Make arrangements through your trust to pay any applicable taxes on the lottery winnings to avoid any legal issues down the road. Lottery winnings are subject to both federal and state taxes, which can be as high as 37-40% of the jackpot amount.

Collecting the prize money anonymously

Once the lottery ticket is claimed, you will need to collect the lump sum payment through your anonymous trust:

Lump sum or annuity

Decide if you want to take the winnings as a lump sum or annuity payments over many years. Lump sum allows you to invest the money immediately but reduces the overall amount after taxes are taken out. Annuity provides smaller payments spread out over decades to maximize the pre-tax amount you receive but prevents you from accessing all the funds quickly. Consult with your financial advisor to determine the better option.

Have payment deposited into trust account

The lottery commission will deposit the lump sum payment or first annuity payment into the bank account owned by the trust set up by your attorney. Make sure multiple signers are required for any withdrawals to keep the money secure.

Invest and manage the money discreetly

Work with your financial advisor and trustee to conservatively invest and grow the lottery winnings. Be very careful about suddenly living an extravagant lifestyle or making big purchases in your own name that could draw attention and reveal your identity. Keep a low profile and use the trust to make any big-ticket purchases anonymously.

Keeping your identity hidden after winning

Once you claim the lottery prize through your anonymous trust, you need to be vigilant about keeping your identity hidden from the public:

Think twice about telling friends and family

It may be tempting to share the news of your big win with loved ones, but consider that the more people who know, the greater the chance of your anonymity being compromised. Share only on a strict need-to-know basis.

Avoid media and public appearances

Refuse all media interviews, photos, and other publicity. One slip could result in your identity getting leaked. Your trustee can handle any required publicity on behalf of the trust.

Monitor your trust closely

Keep a close watch on the management of the trust, lottery winnings, and any distributions made in your name. Look out for any leaks by people privy to your identity or misuse of funds by your trustee.

Change your contact information

To avoid being bombarded with requests once word gets out of your area about a mysterious local lottery winner, consider changing your phone number, email, and even your home address.

Lay low on social media

Limit activity on social media accounts you have under your real name and untag yourself from photos and posts that include identifiable details about you. Don’t post anything on social media related to wealth or good fortune.

Enhance your home security system

Upgrade to a top-level home security system including video surveillance and alarmed entry points. This provides protection in case your identity leaks and you become a target.

Avoiding common pitfalls

Here are some mistakes to steer clear of when trying to remain anonymous after a big lottery win:

Signing the ticket in your name

This identifies you as the winner and forfeits your ability to claim anonymously. Signing the ticket should only be done when necessary right before claiming.

Giving interviews or publicity

Any media attention on you risks exposing your identity. Never give interviews or participate in press events.

Splurging on luxury items

Making extravagant purchases under your real name like mansions, sports cars, and jewelry makes it easier to link you to the lottery winning. Keep purchases modest.

Not paying taxes

Failing to pay taxes on lottery winnings can spur investigators to look into your identity. Paying taxes through your anonymous trust is perfectly legal.

Telling too many people

Be extremely selective in who you share your win with. The more who know, the more likely it leaks. Even family can let it slip.

Informing others of your winnings

There may be certain people that need to be informed of your lottery winnings in order for you to manage the money soundly:

Your spouse

If you are married, your spouse will need to be told since large financial decisions and changes to your lifestyle will impact them. But exert caution- in the case of any divorce proceedings, your identity could be revealed publicly. A postnuptial agreement may be wise to protect anonymity.

Tax professionals

Your tax accountant and/or tax attorney should be informed so that your lottery winnings are properly reported and taxes are paid accurately and on time. These professionals are required to keep your information confidential.

Financial advisor

Seek guidance from a highly trusted financial advisor to prudently invest and manage your lottery funds. This person should be bound by confidentiality and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Estate planning attorney

Consult with an estate planning lawyer to ensure your will, trusts, and inheritance plans are updated to reflect your new wealth while maintaining anonymity for you and your heirs. Your lawyer is required to maintain attorney-client confidentiality.

In each case, sharing only what is essential and requiring confidentiality is key to preserving anonymity. Never disclose more than is absolutely necessary.

Responding to requests for money

Once word gets out that someone anonymous won the lottery in your area, you will likely be inundated with requests for financial help from friends, extended family, charities and more. Here is how to tactfully respond:

Set firm boundaries

Decide your policy in advance- will you grant any requests or ignore all? Stick firmly to this boundary. Making exceptions can set a precedent.

Politely decline all requests

Reply via your attorney or trustee that you are unable to provide any funds. Cite confidentiality and your need to manage the money responsibly.

Do not reveal your identity

No matter how desperate the request, never disclose that you are the winner. This can open floodgates and compromise your anonymity.

Give to reputable charities anonymously

You can choose to donate some of your winnings to causes you care about. But do so anonymously through your trust so gifts cannot be traced back to you.

Remain calm yet firm

Understand that refusing requests can damage relationships, but stick to your guns. People will be disappointed, but your anonymity should take priority.

With courtesy and empathy, yet maintaining clear boundaries, you can manage solicitations without surrendering your identity. Do not let pressure sway you into compromising your privacy.

Using a blind trust to claim the prize

A blind trust is an option for remaining completely anonymous when claiming lottery winnings:

How it works

With a blind trust, neither you nor the trustee knows each other’s identity. An additional third party serves as liaison between you two to facilitate communication.

Setting it up

To establish a blind trust, speak to a reputable attorney. They can recommend a trustee who agrees to keep identities hidden on both sides. The attorney acts as intermediary.

Claiming the prize

The trustee claims the ticket and winnings on behalf of the blind trust as its representative. You remain entirely anonymous with no direct contact.

Collecting the funds

The prize money goes into the trust fund set up by the attorney. The trustee invests and manages it based on your guidance through the attorney liaison.

Making it work long-term

Maintaining a blind trust can be complicated logistically but provides a bulletproof guarantee of anonymity if set up properly. Use care in communicating through the attorney go-between to avoid direct contact.

The added layer of a blind trust can give you total peace of mind that your identity will remain protected, especially for a very large lottery prize.

Consulting legal counsel

To ensure your anonymity is preserved in compliance with New Mexico law when claiming lottery winnings, consultation with legal professionals is highly advisable:

Hire an attorney

Seek out an attorney experienced in asset protection and estate planning. They will know the ins and outs of claiming lottery prizes anonymously. They can also set up the appropriate trusts on your behalf.

Ask about contingency plans

Discuss back up options and plans if your identity gets leaked despite precautions. Foresee issues that may arise down the road in the event of changed circumstances.

Review winner confidentiality laws

Make sure your attorney explains all New Mexico laws relating to lottery winner privacy and anonymity. Know your full legal rights before claiming the prize.

Consider a postnuptial agreement

If you are married, meet with your attorney along with your spouse to potentially pursue a postnuptial agreement protecting your anonymity in case of divorce.

Understand tax obligations

Fully comprehend the tax impacts of lottery winnings with guidance from both a tax attorney and accountant. You must meet all IRS and state tax requirements.

Ask about legal liabilities

Discuss any potential legal liabilities that may arise from managing lottery winnings through a trust and keeping your identity secret. Understand how to best protect yourself.

Thorough consultation with legal experts can give you greater assurance that your identity will stay hidden from the public even as you claim lottery millions.


Hitting the jackpot can be a dream come true but also a nightmare if your privacy is invaded. In New Mexico, you can live the dream while avoiding the nightmare by claiming lottery prizes anonymously. Follow the steps outlined here, such as forming an anonymous trust, designating a trustee, laying low afterwards, and thoughtfully informing only those who need to know. Avoid common mistakes like signing the ticket or splurging publicly. With prudence and care in maintaining secrecy, you can enjoy lottery fortunes while keeping your identity safely hidden in New Mexico. Just be sure to celebrate in private!