Published: April 7, 2022

Massachusetts State Lottery winner: $15 million winner not named even though commonwealth doesn’t allow winners to be anonymous; here’s why

A Massachusetts State Lottery winner claimed their $15 million prize on Thursday, the largest prize won so far in 2022. But the winner’s name won’t be announced.

Massachusetts isn’t one of the at least nine states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous but it can still happen.

Massachusetts allows lottery winners to create a trust. It then allows the trustee to be able to turn in the winning ticket, receive the check and then deposits it into a bank account set up for the beneficiaries.

On March 31, the P.M. Investment Trust of Fall River, which was represented by trustee Joseph H. Silvia, claimed the $15 million prize in a one-time payment of $9,750,000. Silvia was then presented with a check for $6,922,500.

The ticket was for the instant ticket game “Massachusetts Millionaires’ Club.” It was sold at Correia & Sons Market in Somerset, which is located at 500 Read St. The store will also receive a $50,000 bonus for its sale of this ticket.

“One of the most frequent pieces of advice new lottery winners get from others is to try as hard as possible to remain anonymous,” Baker Law Group’s website states. “If your name and photograph is published, there’s a strong chance you could find yourself quickly harassed with calls and requests for money.”

The law firm allows winners to text or call them to get things moving quickly.

“The longer you leave the ticket unsigned, the more you risk someone taking it and claiming it for themselves,” the website states. “If you must sign it before the trust is created, sign it small so you can leave space to add trustees and the name of the trust you’ll establish.”

But the winners don’t remain completely anonymous.

Lottery spokesman Christian Teja previously told The Republican that the secrecy only involves the public. All members of a trust are required to be identified by the lottery for its internal records.

The lottery runs the names of those in a trust past other state agencies, including the state Department of Revenue, the Child Support Enforcement Division, Office of the State Comptroller and the Department of Transitional Assistance. The names of the winners are checked to see if they owe the state money for child support, income taxes, tuition and fees at state colleges, or Mass Health payments. If so, the amount owed is garnished from the winnings.

Still, some winners choose to come forward themselves.

Araceli Alba Peredes of Leominster won a lottery prize for $10 million. It was from the instant ticket game $10,000,000 Winter Riches and was purchased at Leominster Market, which is located at 8 Lancaster St.

She told the lottery she plans on using her winnings to buy a house and a new car.

Barbara Riley of Cambridge also came forward and told the lottery she plans on donating some her winnings from her $1 million Mega Millions prize to help support the people of Ukraine.

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