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NY Lottery and Anonymity

Topic closed. 18 replies. Last post 5 years ago by mrtightwad.

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Bondi Junction
Australia
Member #57242
December 24, 2007
474 Posts
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Posted: August 5, 2009, 4:19 am - IP Logged

After reading "Queens man claims $133M Mega Millions lottery jackpot", on LP, I wrote to the New York Lottery in regard to anonymity. I got the following reply:

 

Thank you for your inquiry.

New York Lottery policy has always been to release the name and city of
residence of each winner to the media. Since the New York Lottery is a
government agency and New York Lottery prizes are public funds, it is
our responsibility to inform the people of New York State of New York
Lottery winners and prizes. Any winner of $1 million or more is
introduced to the public by means of a press conference. The Lottery
does not release personal information, such as exact street addresses or
phone numbers.

I trust this answers your concerns and I thank you for your interest in
the New York Lottery.

We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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    Bondi Junction
    Australia
    Member #57242
    December 24, 2007
    474 Posts
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    Posted: August 5, 2009, 4:27 am - IP Logged

    Dear NY:
    It was great to see a man from Queens win a MegaMilions jackpot. However,
    I don't understand why he was required to go public. Other lotteries
    allow winners to remain anonymous, and it works very well. Requiring
    winners to be publicly identified turns them into sitting ducks, people
    don't talk about how much they earn, so why should income from a lottery
    be any different? I do hope you reconsider the publicity requirement and allow winners to
    continue life as normal, without the world, and all it's crazy people,
    knowing their business.


    Thank you for your time.

     

     

    I would like others to email the NY lottery in regard to anonymity. Other lotteries allow winners to remain anonymous and it works very well.

    We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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      Espanola NM
      United States
      Member #72722
      March 25, 2009
      133 Posts
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      Posted: August 5, 2009, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

      I think the reason why lotteries require press conference and an actual name is for credibility.    If everyone was anonymous....sooner or later people who stop playing the lottery out of fear that the system is rigged.   Doesn't really make sense since techically a lottery could hire actors to pretend they are winners. 

      That being said if you truely want anonymity I think a way around the laws is to claim the ticket under a blind trust.   That way at the press conference only your lawyer and LLC will be public.   Don't know blind trusts work everywhere.  But it is a tricky way around the system sometimes.

        ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

        United States
        Member #56506
        November 21, 2007
        4628 Posts
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        Posted: August 5, 2009, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

        "I would like others to email the NY lottery in regard to anonymity.Other lotteries allow winners to remain anonymous and it works verywell."

        That may be true with lotteries overseas, but very few states in the USallow anonymity. I don't think that is going to change. The statelotteries, want to prove to players and would-be players, that realpeople win the lottery. I just don't see most states allowing forpeople to be anonymous. Especially, if a big jackpot is won. It givesthem great advertising.

        "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
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          Posted: August 5, 2009, 6:03 pm - IP Logged


          This is from the Illinois lottery's website FAQ page:

          Can I avoid having my name released if I am a winner?

          To assure other players that prizes are paid to winners, the Lottery makes public the name, home city and amount won. We will not, however, release the addresses or telephone numbers of winners. Multi-million dollar winners must participate in a one-time news conference, but we'll always respect your wishes of privacy as much as possible.

          This is from the Missouri lottery's website (Games, When You Win, If You Win A Jackpot on the dropdown menu):


          Take your time on important decisions.
              This is the most important thing to remember. During a huge life change, it is crucial that you remain calm, take your time and don't make rash decisions like quitting your job or moving to another state. You will have a lot of decisions to make and you want to be sure they are the best decisions.

                  * The great news is you probably have more options and choices than ever before! And according to 97 percent of our past jackpot winners, the experience has been a very positive one.
                  * For more information about claiming your prize or the process, call the Missouri Lottery headquarters at (573) 751-4050.

          Sign your ticket and keep it secure.
              Before you do anything else, sign the back of your ticket and put it in a safe place. Your ticket is your only claim for the prize. We recommend a locked box or a safety deposit box.

          Mum's the word.
              Tell the fewest people possible. Good news spreads fast, and you may have news media coming to your door or people calling before you have a chance to place your claim or put your ticket in a safe place.


          Get sound advice.
              Get professional tax and/or legal advice to help you decide the best way for you to claim your prize. When you Contact Us to claim your prize, you will have to do two things:

              A. Decide how you will claim your prize.
                  No matter which payment plan you choose, the Lottery will withhold 25 percent federal and 4 percent state taxes on your prize payment. You may owe additional taxes depending upon your other income, etc.
              B. Decide how you will receive your jackpot money.
                  If you win the Lotto jackpot, you can choose to receive the full amount in 25 annual payments minus taxes, or you can receive approximately one-half the advertised prize amount in one lump payment minus taxes. The lump-sum cash payment is about half of the advertised prize amount since you immediately get the money the Lottery would have invested during the next 25 years.
                  If you win the Powerball jackpot, you can choose to receive the full amount in 30 graduated annuity payments throughout 29 years minus taxes, or you also can receive approximately one-half the advertised prize amount in one lump payment minus taxes. Again, the lump-sum cash payment is about half of the advertised prize amount since you immediately get the money the Lottery would have invested during the next 30 years.
                  Note: You have exactly 60 days from the drawing date to choose the cash option. If you haven't made a decision by that time, the prize will automatically be paid out in 25 annual payments (Lotto) or 30 annual payments (Powerball).

          Visit a Missouri Lottery office.
              You will be greeted at the Lottery office by one of our customer service representatives and given instructions. If you haven't done so already, you will fill out a Missouri Lottery claim form and IRS Form W-9 — Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification since your prize is over $600. If you have any questions about your claim or your prize, this is the time to ask Missouri Lottery personnel.

          Do you want to hold a news conference?
              At the Lottery office, a member of the Lottery's communications staff will ask you questions about your win, such as how many tickets you bought, when you found out that you won and what you plan to do with your prize money. This information will be used for a news release.


                  * You will also be asked, but are not required, to participate in a news conference, most likely at the store where you purchased your winning ticket. News conferences can also be held at a Lottery office. This provides the media with a single photo opportunity and a chance for them to ask you a few questions without having each of them contact you at home or at work.
                         A. You want to do a news conference. — News conferences normally only last about 15 minutes and are held within a couple of days after your ticket validates. Your ticket is not considered validated until it passes confidential validation requirements at the Lottery's office in Jefferson City, normally within a couple of days after you place your claim. Keep in mind that your news conference should be a lot of fun, like weddings and other happy ceremonies.
                         B. You don't want to do a news conference. — It's your decision whether or not to participate in a news conference. However, your name and hometown are considered public information, and they will be released to the media. Not only is this information public by law, publishing it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the Lottery's games. If players were never provided with actual names, they may not believe the games are real or fair. If you choose not to do a news conference, the media may still attempt to contact you at home or your place of employment.

          Relax.
              Once your ticket is in safe hands you can relax for a while. The Lotto prize process takes approximately 10 days to complete. The Powerball process, since 31 lotteries are involved, takes approximately 14 working days to complete. Within the next few weeks, you will be adding thousands or maybe millions of dollars to your bank or investment account. At this point, it's okay to do some serious dreaming. A new house? A special car? College for the kids or grandkids? A trip to Tahiti?

          When the big day finally arrives.
              The last thing you will need to do is take an hour out of your schedule to meet with the Missouri Lottery's chief accountant, who will deliver your check. He or she will want to meet with you either at your home or another private place to go over the payment or payment schedule, and discuss the taxes that have been withheld.

          Some other things to consider.
              You may want to change your telephone number, or get an answering machine and caller ID so you can screen your calls. After people hear that you've won, you may receive calls from friends who want to congratulate you or sales people who have heard about your good fortune.
          Remember to give any new telephone numbers to the Missouri Lottery, so staff members can contact you about any tax or law changes, upcoming Millionaires Reunions, etc.

              Depending on the amount of your jackpot, you may want to stay away from your home for a few days. If you've won a significant amount that has drawn national attention, the media may try to track you down at home for the story. Amounts of $50 million or less probably won't cause a great deal of media frenzy.

          Learn from other winners.
              You're not alone! Find out what other Lottery winners have to say in Fun Facts.

          //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

          (I posted all the information from Missouri because it's pretty good advice. When you have the lottery itself telling you to blow town for a few days, that's saying something. Maybe it should be pinned here on the board somewhere, just a thought).

          As has been said by SpanaUnlimited and ThatScaryChick, the lotteries want real people to be identified as winners for the credibility of the lottery.

          Now, just my opinion, but as far as publishing a winners name, hometown, and amount won, there's a big difference between saying Tommy Smith of New York City won $26,000,000 in the state lottery as opposed to saying Pierre Gustav Tutant Beauregard VII of Phydeaux, Lousiiana (Pop. 233) won $26,000,000 in the state lottery.

          For those who have seen the Lottery Changed My Life and the Curse of the Lottery programs, if you'll remember, one of the winners asked the post office top stop delivering the letters addressed to him

          LOTTERY WIINER

          FLORIDA 

          and the post office said since they knew who and where he was, they had to deliver it.

          (I think it eas thzt David Lee Edwards guy that wound up blowing it all....)

          I still like my idea of the Jackpot Winners Protection Program!

          People from the program would represent the real winners at a press conferences, handel the media and any correspondence for a few months, while the winners are in an undisclosed location.

          Wink

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

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            Bondi Junction
            Australia
            Member #57242
            December 24, 2007
            474 Posts
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            Posted: August 12, 2009, 5:03 am - IP Logged
            In the UK, lottery players have the right to anonymity, according to The National Lottery Commission which is responsible for licensing and regulating the UK National Lottery.
             
            "Players have the right to maintain their anonymity unless they sign to request publicity. Camelot, (licensed operator of the UK National Lottery), is required to ensure that prizewinners’ details are kept secure within Camelot, and are only disclosed to authorised staff."
             
            US State Lotteries should adopt the same policy. The UK is one of the most successful lotteries in the world, raising billions for good causes; including the London 2012 Olympics.

            We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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              New Member

              United States
              Member #78669
              August 19, 2009
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              Posted: August 19, 2009, 1:37 pm - IP Logged

              I sent a message to my home state lottery (GA), heres the reply i got. Good info.

               

              Thank you for contacting the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC).

              While Georgia Lottery jackpot winners are not required to have a press
              conference or take a photograph, many feel that it enhances the winning
              experience. Some winners choose to claim their prize in the name of a
              corporation in order to maintain anonymity.

              By law, the Georgia Lottery is required to release winners' names, city
              of residence, game and amount won upon request.

              We appreciate your interest in the GLC and our games 

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                New Member
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #78919
                August 24, 2009
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                Posted: August 24, 2009, 1:11 am - IP Logged

                Hi all. I'm new here and will post a seperate introduction, but I wanted to ask this question first as it has always been on my mind. I noticed a couple of LLCs have claimed huge prizes in NJ (where I'm from and play). I am wondering, especially in my case, if it would be wise to form a Nevada LLC or Corporation and have the "foreign" corp claim the prize? Nevada Corps allow owners and officers to be shielded from the IRS and assets can also be hidden (it's almost like going to Bermuda to incorporate). Has that been done or is that wise to do in order to be anonymous? I'm not a lawyer or accountant but I heard that NJ does not allow blind trusts like the guy in Ohio got when he hit the MM. I also get the impression that if I won my ticket here, I can only claim my ticket here....LOL.

                Any thoughts on this would be welcome. In the meantime, I'll start a new thread and introduce myself there. :)

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
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                  Posted: August 24, 2009, 1:43 am - IP Logged

                  Mega Millions and Powerball prizes have to be claimed in the state they were played in.

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                  Lep

                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.


                    United States
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                    August 15, 2009
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                    Posted: August 24, 2009, 7:12 pm - IP Logged

                    I think the reason why lotteries require press conference and an actual name is for credibility.    If everyone was anonymous....sooner or later people who stop playing the lottery out of fear that the system is rigged.   Doesn't really make sense since techically a lottery could hire actors to pretend they are winners. 

                    That being said if you truely want anonymity I think a way around the laws is to claim the ticket under a blind trust.   That way at the press conference only your lawyer and LLC will be public.   Don't know blind trusts work everywhere.  But it is a tricky way around the system sometimes.

                    I think this has happened in Indiana. Lots of people I talk to think the lottery here is rigged and some people say "they never reveal the winners". Not actually true, as the Indiana lottery website showcases past winners.

                    Does the Powerball allow winners to be anonymous? I need to know because I plan to win Wednesday night, lol. I dont want the neighbors to know I won.


                      United States
                      Member #78471
                      August 15, 2009
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                      Posted: August 24, 2009, 7:16 pm - IP Logged

                      Hi all. I'm new here and will post a seperate introduction, but I wanted to ask this question first as it has always been on my mind. I noticed a couple of LLCs have claimed huge prizes in NJ (where I'm from and play). I am wondering, especially in my case, if it would be wise to form a Nevada LLC or Corporation and have the "foreign" corp claim the prize? Nevada Corps allow owners and officers to be shielded from the IRS and assets can also be hidden (it's almost like going to Bermuda to incorporate). Has that been done or is that wise to do in order to be anonymous? I'm not a lawyer or accountant but I heard that NJ does not allow blind trusts like the guy in Ohio got when he hit the MM. I also get the impression that if I won my ticket here, I can only claim my ticket here....LOL.

                      Any thoughts on this would be welcome. In the meantime, I'll start a new thread and introduce myself there. :)

                      Hmmm... I own my own business and it is incorporated. When I win, I will just put the winnings into the corporation and pay myself a million dollars a week.

                        DC81's avatar - batman39
                        MI
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                        Posted: August 25, 2009, 1:49 am - IP Logged

                        It's generally not up to Powerball (or Megamillions) it's up to the states though I would not be surprised if they have input in state rules for the games. Would explain why Michigan allows anonymity for their own games but not Megamillions.

                        You can't predict random.

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                          Milwaukee, WI
                          United States
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                          December 27, 2003
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                          Posted: August 25, 2009, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

                          If you suddenly start spending money, aren't they going to know something? 

                          Yeah, you can have the cash, but you can't spend it. You can't retire. Or you can't be around your friends.

                          If they know, so what?  Your life changes, so what?

                          MarkP

                            dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                            North Carolina
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                            Posted: August 26, 2009, 10:50 am - IP Logged

                            I'm bummed because I just checked out the VA lottery site:

                            Can I remain anonymous when I claim my lottery winnings?

                            http://www.valottery.com/faq/kb_detail.asp?type=keyword&keyword=anonymous&id=89

                              No. Winners often ask if they can claim Lottery prizes anonymously. Virginia state law stipulates that a person must claim a prize; winners cannot claim a Virginia Lottery prize with a limited liability company or a trust, for example. In addition, the claimant’s name, hometown and prize are public record and are released to the media (usually for prizes $100,000 and up). Winners also agree to allow the Lottery use of their photo for reasonable publicity. News releases, often with photographs, are displayed on the Lottery`s Web site. For some jackpots and for some Scratcher prizes, game rules require the winner or winners to appear at a news conference held by the Lottery.

                            Virginia Lottery prizes are provided by the public (people who play the games); it is important to disclose where prizes go. All expenditures made by the Virginia Lottery must be made public. A winner`s private information (telephone number, street address, Social Security number, etc.) is protected by law and will not be released.

                            I live in NC but play MM in VA.

                            I guess here is where I'd to the disguise thing, even though my name is out there. And I'd have to move out of my county in NC since everyone has access to all real estate records there.

                            This is too bad since I have a GREAT LLC or Blind Trust name ready for when I win too. I guess I'll just have to win the Powerball in NC instead then. Bummer.

                              dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                              North Carolina
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                              Posted: August 26, 2009, 10:53 am - IP Logged

                              I always planned on saying the sudden money was from "a family member" - making it sound like someone old and rich died and left me some cash. I wouldn't overdo the spending.

                              Then, as time went on and I had some nicer cars, that it was my investments paying off. Thereby, no one knowing it was the lottery.

                              But that's if I won in NC (which I recall you could do a blind trust or LLC), not MM in VA.