On November 17, 2023, the news broke that Maine’s largest lottery winner is taking legal action against his former partner for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reason for the lawsuit is that she allegedly told his parents about his $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot win, violating a non-disclosure agreement.
The plaintiff, referred to as “John Doe” in court documents, is suing “Sara Smith,” the mother of his daughter, for breaching the NDA by sharing information about his lottery win with his father and stepmother. Doe is seeking at least $100,000 for each person Smith disclosed the information to, as stated in the lawsuit.
The NDA was put in place to protect the safety and security of Doe, Smith, and their daughter, as well as to prevent the media and the public from discovering their identities and physical location. The winning ticket was sold at Hometown Gas & Grill in Lebanon, Maine in January 2023, making it the fourth-largest lottery payout in US history.
Maine does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, but there is a loophole that allows winners to shield their identity by claiming the prize through a limited liability company (LLC). Doe claimed his winnings through an LLC called LaKoma Island Investments, opting for a one-time pre-tax cash payment of $723,564,144.
Doe is concerned about potential threats to his safety and security due to the publicity surrounding his win. He contends that Smith’s actions have put them at risk, as other third parties are now in possession of his protected information, including his sister. Therefore, he is seeking an injunction to prevent Smith from disclosing any further information about the prize and is requesting compensatory damages, as well as attorney fees and court costs.
This legal battle sheds light on the complexities of managing newfound wealth and the measures individuals may take to protect themselves and their families in the wake of a substantial lottery win.