The jackpot for tonight's Mega Millions Lottery is over $450 million. Are you going to play? This reminds me of the time I was in line at my local mini-mart waiting to pay for my items.

As I'm standing there, I could hear the person in front of me talking to the cashier. He was commenting on how if he could just win the lottery then everything would be alright in his life.

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My thought was "If he's not content with what he has now, he won't be content for long with what he gets." That ended up prompting another conversation with a friend of mine. If I were to win the lottery, could I remain anonymous?

Can I Remain Anonymous If I Win The New York State Lottery?

The quick answer is: No, you cannot remain anonymous...but there is a way around it. More on that in a moment. There are 11 states that allow winners to keep their identity concealed, but New York is not one of them.

There are arguments for both sides on whether or not, you SHOULD be allowed to remain anonymous. Politicians will tell you that there is a need for transparency and to make sure that the state isn't pocketing any of the jackpots.

Almost everyone else will say that the individuals rights outweigh the need for transparency. We've all heard stories about people winning the lottery and then the phone doesn't stop ringing and everyone is asking for money.

When Do I Need To Reveal My Identity?

Under current law, if your lottery winnings are $5,000 or more, you have to reveal your identity to claim your prize. However, in 2018, the New York Senate approved a bill that would keep your name a secret if you made a request to the State Gaming Commission.

That bill was vetoed by then New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. He stated that by being transparent, the public would know that there was an actual winner and the state wasn't simply putting the money in its own coffers. Hmm, okay if you say so.

How To (Kind of) Remain Anonymous If You Won The New York State Lottery

So how do you get around it? You would create a limited liability company (LLC) on your behalf to claim your prize. Then the LLC would be the winner and not the individual. So it can be done but it won't be easy.

Take a Walk Along These 12 Charming Upstate New York 'Main Streets'

Typically the heart of any community is its Main Street. Upstate New York is no different. While big box stores, strip malls, and franchise restaurants can now be found at the outskirts of most towns, here are a dozen really nice small town Main Streets that would make for a perfect afternoon stroll. Check them out!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

RANKED: Top 25 Golf Courses in Upstate New York

There are numerous "best golf course" lists circulating. These are proposed by popular golf magazines, websites, golf professionals, and others. Surprisingly, almost all of them agree on the best New York courses, with some moving one particular course up or down slightly in their rankings.

I like this list of Top 100 Golf Courses online in association with sports company TaylorMade. I like it because for each entry they also put a bit of course history in their comments section. Each of the top 25 golf courses in Upstate New York (in this gallery) have a link "to the list" so you can see other courses, not in Upstate, and where they ranked.

Note: This featured gallery includes just the top 25 for Upstate New York, but there are others, so be sure and check "the list."

Have you played any of these great golf courses?

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

10 More Great Upstate New York "Main Streets" For You To Explore!

Several months ago we published a gallery of a dozen great Upstate New York Main Streets. It was wildly popular, so we have added to that list with ten new ones. Again, we use the term "Main Street" loosely. Several of these streets are not even called Main Street, but rather Church Street, State Street, or Broadway, etc. Still, these streets are the heartbeat of each community and they all deserve a visit from you this summer!

KEEP SCROLLING: How The SUNY Schools Performed in Wall Street Journal's College Rankings

The Wall Street Journal has released it's ranking of all the colleges and universities in the United States. Keep going to see where the SUNY schools landed.

Cool Down at These 21 Outstanding Upstate New York Breweries, Big and Small!

The craft beer brewery explosion has now landed on Upstate New York with a "boom." From big city downtown locations, to rural "off the grid" in-the-woods breweries, these are some of the best of the best in Upstate New York.

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Hey! Did You Know This? 25 Amazing Trivia Facts and Curious Stories About Upstate New York

Everybody loves a good story, or some head-scratching trivia facts. This list pulls the curtain back on 25 amazing pieces of Upstate New York history you probably didn't know about. Are they earth-shaking? No. Are they interesting? Definitely!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

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