After a week of furious speculation and spurious claims, a valid ticket has been submitted for the £33 million Lotto jackpot. The lucky winner has opted to remain anonymous, but how easy will it be for them to maintain their anonymity in the face of huge media scrutiny, and what should they be doing to protect their privacy now and in the future?
The majority of big winners opt to go public. Of the ten largest Lotto winners prior to this shared jackpot, only three chose to remain anonymous. Perhaps, faced with a genuinely life-changing event, most winners decide that the easiest option is to share the news about their good fortune in the hope that the media attention will die down, and they’ll be able to get on with their lives in relative peace and quiet.
However, history demonstrates this isn’t always the case. Many past winners find themselves in the spotlight again, months or even years after their big win, under less pleasant circumstances. The press loves to keep an eye out for divorce proceedings, financial woes and other bad news stories.
Having, perhaps sensibly, plumped for anonymity, how likely is it that our latest jackpot winner will be able to maintain a low profile. Helpfully, Camelot has a duty of care to protect winners’ anonymity. The lottery company learned the hard way not to divulge too much information in the nineties when a family that won a triple rollover were ‘outed’ in the press, and had to change their names and relocate.
The winner can also take steps themselves. Here are three sensible measures the winner can take to minimise the risk of being ‘exposed’.
1. Be careful. Don’t make any big purchases too soon. Replacing the family Ford with a Ferrari in the next few days would undoubtedly lead to attention on social media, which in no time would lead to the inevitable media scrum camped on the doorstep
2. Be patient. You’re in the eye of the media storm right now, but it won’t be long until the next big winner comes along, and the media’s attention moves on
3. Be prepared. Be ready for media attention anyway (you know what Auntie Beryl is like after a sherry…). Consider seeking professional advice on press office support, so you don’t have to deal with the media face-to-face, and prepare some clear and simple messaging that you and family members can use if you’re doorstepped.
All this being said, our final piece of advice is, enjoy! You’ve just beaten odds of 1 in 45 million, so that lucky rabbit’s foot was a great investment!