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How to remain anonymous if you win the lottery in Tennessee?

Winning the lottery is an exciting event that most people only dream of. However, when your name and photo are plastered all over the news, your life is never the same again. This sudden influx of money and publicity is overwhelming for some lottery winners. If you want to keep your windfall private in Tennessee, you do have options.

Can You Remain Anonymous After Winning the Lottery in Tennessee?

Tennessee is not one of the states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. State law requires the Tennessee Lottery to release the name, city, and amount won for any prize over $600. The information is considered public record. However, you may be able to collect your prize through a trust or limited liability company (LLC) to maintain some privacy.

Claiming Lottery Prizes in Tennessee

There are a few ways to claim lottery prizes in Tennessee:

  • In person at any Tennessee Lottery claim center
  • By mail to the Tennessee Lottery headquarters in Nashville
  • Through a trust – Anonymity option for large prizes
  • With a limited liability company (LLC) – Anonymity option for large prizes

To provide complete anonymity, your best option is to set up a trust or LLC to collect the money on your behalf. This allows you to avoid publicity while still getting the prize money.

Using a Trust to Remain Anonymous

Setting up a trust is one of the best ways to keep your lottery win private in Tennessee. A trust is a legal entity that allows a third party (the trustee) to hold assets on behalf of the trust beneficiaries.

To collect a Tennessee lottery prize through a trust, follow these steps:

  1. Consult an estate planning attorney to set up an anonymous trust. Choose a law firm you trust outside your hometown.
  2. Name the trust as the winner when claiming the lottery prize. Do not disclose any personal information.
  3. Have the trustee collect the winnings and manage the trust assets on your behalf.
  4. Pay taxes through the trust. Lottery winnings are subject to both federal and Tennessee state taxes.

The key benefits of using a trust are:

  • The lottery winner’s name is not revealed publicly.
  • Trustee handles administrative tasks like collecting winnings, paying taxes, and managing investments.
  • Assets are protected from creditors, lawsuits, divorce, etc.
  • You maintain control over the lottery prize as the silent beneficiary.

Requirements for Collecting Tennessee Lottery Prizes Through a Trust

To claim a lottery prize through a trust in Tennessee, you must provide the following documentation:

  • Name, address and tax ID number of the trust
  • A copy of the trust agreement or certification of trust
  • Identification for all trustees
  • A statement authorizing the trustee to collect the winnings
  • Completed claim form and tax forms

The lottery winner’s name and location can be kept confidential using this process if the trust is set up properly. Just make sure to choose your trustee wisely.

Using an LLC to Remain Anonymous

In some cases, you may be able to claim a Tennessee lottery prize through a limited liability company (LLC). An LLC is a business entity that offers liability protection and certain tax benefits.

Follow these steps to collect lottery winnings through an LLC:

  1. Set up an LLC with yourself as the sole member. File in another state like New Mexico or Delaware where privacy is protected.
  2. Name the LLC as the winner. Do not provide any personal information.
  3. Have the LLC manager collect the prize money and pay applicable taxes.
  4. Distribute the winnings to yourself as discreetly as possible through dividend payments, etc.

The advantages of using an LLC include:

  • Your name is not associated with the prize.
  • You control the LLC as the sole member.
  • Assets are protected from lawsuits and creditors.
  • You may get certain tax benefits as an LLC.

Requirements for Using an LLC to Claim Lottery Prizes in Tennessee

To claim a Tennessee lottery prize through an LLC, you’ll need to provide:

  • The LLC name, address, and tax ID number
  • Articles of organization
  • Operating agreement listing owners
  • Identification for all individuals authorized to act on behalf of the LLC
  • Statement authorizing the LLC to collect the lottery winnings
  • Completed claim forms and tax documentation

This allows you to maintain privacy as the anonymous member behind the LLC. However, make sure the LLC is set up properly before claiming a lottery prize.

Pros and Cons of Remaining Anonymous

While privacy is appealing for big lottery winners, there are some drawbacks to consider:


  • Avoid publicity and media attention
  • Protect your family’s safety and privacy
  • Reduce your chances of being targeted for scams or lawsuits
  • Maintain your current lifestyle more easily


  • Increased odds of suspicion about where you got the money
  • Missing out on any enjoyment of fame from winning the lottery
  • No longer qualifying for government assistance programs
  • Difficulty explaining your new wealth to friends and family

For many lottery winners, the benefits of remaining anonymous outweigh the drawbacks. But assess your own situation carefully before deciding.

How to Keep a Low Profile After Winning

If you want to keep your lottery win quiet in Tennessee, here are some tips beyond just claiming the prize anonymously:

  • Do not tell friends or extended family about the winnings right away, if ever.
  • Never show off expensive purchases or gifts bought with the money.
  • Move to a new home in a modest neighborhood to avoid attention.
  • Avoid applying for loans or credit cards.
  • Do not make flashy donations with your name attached.
  • Only tell those with a need to know about the winnings.
  • If asked about your wealth, say you had an investment windfall.

Staying anonymous as a lottery winner takes diligence. But it may be worthwhile if you want to maintain normal relationships and activities.

Getting Financial and Legal Advice

Before claiming a lucrative lottery prize, consult with professionals to protect yourself:

  • Lawyer – Hire an attorney outside of your area to provide complete confidentiality. They can help you set up an anonymous trust or LLC to claim the prize.
  • Financial Planner – Interview qualified financial planners to develop a smart investment and spending strategy for your windfall.
  • Accountant – Retain an accountant to advise you on tax obligations for lottery winnings and managing ongoing finances.
  • Insurance Agent – Review your insurance coverage and update as needed, especially liability and life insurance.

With the right team guiding you, it is easier to handle a financial windfall discreetly. Make sure to choose professionals you can trust fully.

Following Official Procedures and Rules

Even if you want anonymity, be sure to follow all required procedures when claiming Tennessee lottery prizes including:

  • Meeting all claim deadlines – Prizes expire 180 days after the draw date in Tennessee.
  • Signing the back of your winning ticket immediately.
  • Completing all necessary paperwork such as claim forms, tax forms, etc.
  • Providing required documentation and identification.
  • Following up on any special procedures for trusts, LLCs, etc.
  • Taking a media photo/video if required by the lottery.

While you may not want excessive publicity, you do need to cooperate with lottery officials to collect your prize properly. Stay up to date on any policies and requirements.

Handling Taxes on Lottery Winnings

Along with the publicity, taxes are one of the drawbacks to winning the lottery. Make sure you understand your tax obligations fully. Some key points:

  • Federal taxes – Lottery wins over $600 are taxed at the highest federal rate, currently 37%. The lottery provider will withhold 24% upfront.
  • Tennessee state taxes – Lottery prizes are subject to 5% state tax withholding as well.
  • You are responsible for any additional taxes owed when you file.
  • Work with a tax professional to navigate lottery tax implications.

Managing taxes is an essential part of claiming the prize discreetly. Do not try skipping out on your tax liability.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls for Lottery Winners

Coming into sudden money brings many pitfalls. Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Telling too many people – Keep the circle small of who you inform to protect your privacy.
  • Splurging on too many luxury items – Make a budget and invest wisely instead.
  • Overly generous gifts to friends and family – Only help those truly in need.
  • Poor investments – Work with financial advisors to build your portfolio.
  • Complicated tax maneuvers to avoid obligations – Pay what you legally owe.
  • Assuming money will solve all your problems – Maintain perspective.

With good planning and discretion, you can avoid the common downfalls of coming into sudden wealth. Keep your lottery win on the down low in Tennessee by following the guidance above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I claim a Tennessee lottery prize while remaining completely anonymous?

No, Tennessee requires the lottery winner’s name and city to be publicly released for prizes over $600. The only way to remain anonymous is to claim the prize through a trust or LLC set up out of state.

What is the best way to keep my Tennessee lottery win private?

Setting up an anonymous trust using a law firm from another state is the most surefire way to claim a Tennessee lottery prize anonymously. Provide minimal details and have the trustee manage everything.

How long do I have to claim my prize in Tennessee?

Lottery winners have 180 days from the draw date to claim prizes in Tennessee. Make sure to meet the deadline, even if you are filing anonymously through another entity.

Do I have to pay taxes if I claim my lottery prize through a trust?

Yes, lottery winnings are taxable income no matter how you claim them. The trust will need a tax ID number and you will be responsible for applicable taxes personally as the beneficiary.

Can I establish my anonymous trust in Tennessee?

It is smarter to set up your lottery trust with a law firm in another state like Alaska or Delaware that has stronger anonymity protections. This further shields your identity.


Winning the lottery can be a curse or blessing depending on how you handle it. For winners in Tennessee who want to keep their windfall confidential, claiming prizes through an anonymous trust or LLC are the best options. This allows you to maintain privacy even though state law requires lottery winners to be identified publicly.

Just make sure to consult experienced legal and financial advisors to set up your trust or company correctly. Follow all official lottery procedures, pay your taxes, and keep a low profile about your new wealth. With proper planning, you can enjoy your jackpot out of the spotlight.