Can Florida Lottery Winners Remain Anonymous?
Tips & Tricks

Can Florida Lottery Winners Remain Anonymous?

Find out the privacy rules if winning big in Florida.

Calling all hopeful Florida lottery winners! When people win millions with the lottery, many wonder: Can lottery winners remain anonymous in Florida? Each state has unique laws regarding a lottery winner's privacy, and, in the state of Florida, winners cannot remain anonymous.

Why doesn't Florida allow lottery winners to remain anonymous?

Florida isn't a state where lottery winners can be anonymous due to the state's public disclosure laws around certain governmental records. According to the Florida Lottery website: "Florida law mandates that the Florida Lottery provide records containing information such as the winner's name, city of residence, game won, date won and amount won to any third party who requests the information; however, Florida Lottery winners' street addresses and telephone numbers are kept confidential."

That means that if you win big some of your details are a matter of the public record, including:

  • Full name

  • City of residence

  • Game won

  • Date won

  • Amount won

  • Name and location of the retailer where the winning ticket was purchased

Winners of $250,000 do have a little wriggle room though. As of May 25, 2022, winners at or above this amount can delay the announcement of their information (and keep their info private) for 90 days after claiming their prize. This gives winners 3 months to get everything they need in order before the news breaks. 

Lottery results: Get the Florida winning numbers

Claiming Florida Lottery Prizes with a Trust or LLC

While some lottery winners would shout it from the rooftops, others prefer a quieter, less public life away from the spotlight. Winners in Florida can set up a trust or limited liability company (LLC) to claim their lottery loot. Prepared to win big without the publicity? Check out the Florida Lottery Winner Claim Form for an Entity. There are associated costs for this, but you may decide your privacy is worth it!

Several of the biggest Florida lottery winners have used the trust or LLC approach to claim winning lottery tickets. A few winners from recent years include:

  • $1.602B Mega Millions (August 8, 2023) - claimed by Saltines Holdines, LL with a ticket purchased in Neptune Beach, FL

  • $1.586B Powerball (January 13, 2016) - Prize for 1 out of 3 total winning tickets claimed by The Nickel 95 Trust 

  • $502M Mega Millions (October 14, 2022) - Prize for 1 out of 2 total winning tickets claimed by Pineapple Trust of Bonita Springs, FL

  • $414M Mega Millions (March 18, 2024) - Prize for 1 out of 2 total winning ticket claimed by Cobie and Seamus Trust of Merritt Island, FL

  • $396.8M Powerball (Jan 29, 2020) - claimed by Vacation Life LLC

  • $285M Powerball Millions (June 5, 2021) - claimed by The Love You More Trust

What To Do If You Win the Florida Lottery

Now that you’re no longer wondering, “Can Florida lottery winners remain anonymous,” we bet your next question is about how you’re going to handle all that dough if you do happen to win big. Follow these steps to make the most of your lottery winning experience:

  1. Congratulate yourself on an amazing win! 🎉

  2. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to claim your prize right away. You have time! In Florida, you have within 180 days of the draw date for draw games. For scratch games, you have 60 days from the official end-of-game date.  And for games that offer a choice of payout (annuity vs cash option), you have 60 days from the drawing date to claim your prize and elect to take your winnings in cash.

  3. Come up with a general plan about what you’re going to do with your winnings.

  4. Get help! Hire a certified public accountant, financial planner or tax lawyer to help you determine how to best manage your money. They can help you decide whether to take your prize as a lump sum or whether the annuity option is better for you and your tax situation.

  5. Set a budget. Even though you have more money than it seems like you know what to do with now, you’ll want to put together a financial plan.

  6. Consider joining the ranks of lottery winners who donated their winnings by donating a portion of your winnings to your favorite charity. We prefer animal charities ourselves. 🙂

Lottery winners guide: What to do if you win the lottery

Remember, each lottery has different rules and regulations regarding winners' anonymity. These fun tips are for your enjoyment and should not be considered legal advice for the lottery. Consult legal professionals who are familiar with the laws in your area to ensure you follow the proper procedures. Gooood luck!

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