Powerball Winner Bill Lawrence
Staying anonymous online is an easy and common feat; after all, there is no golden standard that requires you to publish your personal details—it’s mostly by choice. But staying anonymous when you just won the lottery—now that seems impossible and non-optional, right? Not exactly. Powerball winner Bill Lawrence managed to do just that when he won the $150 million jackpot in November 2019. His name may have been released publicly, but with a common name like that, it would be nearly impossible to distinguish which Bill Lawrence took home the Powerball jackpot.
Bill Lawrence’s Multimillion Win
When Powerball winner Bill Lawrence purchased his winning lottery ticket from Gold Ranch, a big and popular Nevada casino that also sells lottery tickets, he had no idea that he had hit the jackpot. In fact, he and his wife were frequent visitors of Gold Ranch, so this was merely routine for them. Once Bill realised he had won the $150 million Powerball for the drawing on November 2, 2019, his immediate response was one of panic. Of course, who wouldn’t be panicked when lottery agents show up at your door with footage of you buying such a high winning ticket? Once the overwhelm subsided, Lawrence was able to make some big decisions, like accepting the lump sum of $100 million (after taxes). This decision led him to seek out the help of consultants to keep his finances protected and in order.
How Is Bill Lawrence Spending His Winnings?
Like Cynthia Stafford and many other jackpot winners, Lawrence’s first thought was how he could use the money to better provide for his family. He also noted his plans to buy a nice, new house for his wife and himself. Beyond that, he has plans to travel, as anyone who had just won $150 million would—especially when the luxuries of first-class become a realistic option. He and his wife recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, and though they already had plans for their anniversary trip, the two are now able to extend their trip—and, we’re guessing, do it with much more style.
Bill Lawrence is one of the lucky ones when it comes to maintaining anonymity after winning such a large sum of money. In fact, many states require jackpot winners to appear in news conferences that often become nationalised. However, winners still often prefer to protect their identity, which Lawrence demonstrated when he wisely refused to release any pictures, location details, or anything else that people could use to track him down.
As “Lottery Lawyer” Jason Kurland advises, it is important for winners to minimize—or even fully eliminate—their online presence. He recommends that winners delete any social media accounts before claiming their winnings. Since it is fairly easy to find others’ information when searching for them, Kurland also suggests that his clients remove any sensitive information about themselves from Google or any other relevant sources—especially phone numbers and addresses.
Some winners, such as fellow Powerball winner Mavis Wanczyk, had to learn this the hard way. After Wanczyk claimed her astonishing $758.7 million jackpot prize ($336,350,655 after taxes and lump-sum deduction), both media outlets and random strangers started showing up at her home. The situation got so worrying that the local police had to send officers to watch her and her place!
Staying anonymous may also be the best way for lottery winners to prevent their information from being used in lottery scams, a trend that continues to worsen with the growth of social media. If you are contacted by email, social media, or phone by someone posing as a lottery winner donating their winnings, don’t panic or get too excited—it is certainly not the winner, but so long as you protect your personal information (name, address, bank account information, etc.), you won’t be in any danger.
In a world where winning the lottery seems impossible, it can often feel like we have a right to know about those who do fall into such luck; after all, it is a pleasant surprise to see that nice, normal people can win $150 million—as seems to be the case with Bill Lawrence. Nevertheless, maintaining anonymity is a great way for winners to protect themselves from unwanted financial requests from others—especially the general public, which can often pose a threat or at the very least be a burden to winners.