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Pa. lawmaker wants to give lottery winners right to remain anonymous

Topic closed. 77 replies. Last post 3 years ago by Kejana48.

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mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
Los Angeles, California
United States
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December 2, 2013
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Posted: December 9, 2013, 1:28 am - IP Logged

Agreed Jon D. 

I also don't understand why all winners don't claim in a trust for the protection.

I found this on California Lottery Winner's Handbook - "You can form a trust prior to claiming your prize, but understand that your name is still public and reportable."  I don't have enough knowledge on trusts to comment, but this tidbit is disturbing.

    Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
    Zeta Reticuli Star System
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    Posted: December 9, 2013, 2:13 am - IP Logged

    myturn got me curious about Australia so I went to the Australian lottery website (interesting games!).

    The FAQ page provided a link to The Australia.NationalLottery.com which has this information about Publicity / No Publicity:

    Publicity or No Publicity

    Lottery publicity is not something that is discussed a great deal, but since winners are almost always given a choice as to whether or not they would like details of their win to be publicised, it makes sense to consider publicity in advance.

    There are two common schools of thought in regards to publicity. One says that publicity is a bad thing because it will result in the lottery winner being overwhelmed with a deluge of requests for money and generosity. People who hold this opinion will normally suggest refusing publicity in the hope of keeping the lottery win a secret. The other school of thought says that even if one tried to keep a lottery win secret, news of the win would eventually leak out via talkative friends or family members, and so opting for publicity from the outset gets the public attention over and done with right at the beginning.

    Whilst lottery players are of course free to make their own minds up on this matter, it is worth bearing the following notes about lottery publicity in mind before doing so:

    • When you opt for privacy, all you are doing is asking the lottery operator to refrain from communicating your name or details of your personal life, such as the job you do. It is still possible that an investigative journalist could find out who you are, or that a jealous neighbour could call the local newspaper. Requesting “no publicity” from the lottery company does not therefore guarantee that you won’t get publicity in reality.
    • Lottery publicity doesn’t usually last a long time, unless you have won a record-breaking jackpot. It is therefore possible to opt for publicity and then disappear from the public eye after your fifteen minutes of fame have expired – usually when the next big lottery winner goes public.
    • If you don’t opt for publicity, you will need to come up with a non-lottery explanation for how you are suddenly able to buy a brand new home, drive a top-of-the-range car, take several luxury holidays a year and generally live like a king. Or, if you can’t do that, you will have to consider forgoing such luxuries for a quiet life.

    Should you win a major lottery prize, it will be helpful to have at least thought about publicity before you are asked whether or not you want it. The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer, so as long as you are happy with your decision you have confidence in and stick with it.

    ______________________________________________________

    Some of thr above has beren alluded to in some discussions here on LP but I think it's great that they give their players the option. All US lotteriy states should consider this.

    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.

      Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

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      Posted: December 9, 2013, 6:17 am - IP Logged

      It's not my right to know, it's the public's right to know what their government is doing with their money.

      The lottery is a government run monopoly gambling operation. Wouldn't you like to play pick 3 for $900 str at your local shop? You can't, because the lottery has a monopoly.

      Government is corrupt, and requires transparency so that the public and the press can inspect what THEIR government is doing and how funds are being spent. Lottery is essentially fundraising with an entertainment twist, also can be seen as a regressive tax.

      Do you think criminals would commit crimes more, less or the same, if they knew nobody was watching? If everything was anonymous and nobody outside the lottery could check, do you think there would there be more fraud or less?

      People often criticise celebrities for complaining about, "oh, I can't go around in public anonymously anymore, I'm too rich and famous. Poor me, life is so hard." Well, there are consequences with having all that fame, money and power. you give some things up. Lottery winners expect everything to be the same when they win hundreds of millions of dollars, and that's just not the way the world goes round. Suck it up, and deal with it. Or you can form a trust and hide.

      That maks absolutely no sense whatsoever. Well, when you receive a tax refund it's you getting money back from the same corrupt government, Why don't we start taking out pages in the newspapaer and letting everyone know how much you got back from them to keep things transparent and let us all know if they are being honest or not. 

      The lottery is audited by an INDEPENDENT 3rd party. By the very definition, it means that they are an outside entity that checks on what is reported. Or did you miss that little fact? That alone rebutts your need to publish any winner's identity proves you have no reason for your 'need to know' than pointless conspiracy theories and incorrect data. 

      That's what the auditors there to do. Audit and keep things on the up and up. Their job goes much farther in keeping the lottery honest than parading a poor fool in front of the media. What does that prove? And as I've said before, you all seem to have no issues trusting that the number of $10,000, $25,000 or $100,000 or even $500 winners is accurate, even though there is no press conference given for them. You take the lottery at its word on that. Just like you take them at their word that they've donated $1.3 billion to education. 

      No one else's life or safety should be put in jeopardy simply because you have a mistrust of the government. You don't like the government so for that reason a citizen's life should be jeopardized. Yeah, that makes so much sense. (insert sarcasm here)

        Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
        New Jersey
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        Posted: December 9, 2013, 8:02 am - IP Logged

        Hope the PA assembly votes for this bill to permit lottery winners to be anonymous.

        Thought NJ allowed anonymity of big jackpots winners but Todd knows best since he is in N.J. US Flag

          Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
          Los Angeles, California
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          Posted: December 9, 2013, 8:24 am - IP Logged

          That maks absolutely no sense whatsoever. Well, when you receive a tax refund it's you getting money back from the same corrupt government, Why don't we start taking out pages in the newspapaer and letting everyone know how much you got back from them to keep things transparent and let us all know if they are being honest or not. 

          The lottery is audited by an INDEPENDENT 3rd party. By the very definition, it means that they are an outside entity that checks on what is reported. Or did you miss that little fact? That alone rebutts your need to publish any winner's identity proves you have no reason for your 'need to know' than pointless conspiracy theories and incorrect data. 

          That's what the auditors there to do. Audit and keep things on the up and up. Their job goes much farther in keeping the lottery honest than parading a poor fool in front of the media. What does that prove? And as I've said before, you all seem to have no issues trusting that the number of $10,000, $25,000 or $100,000 or even $500 winners is accurate, even though there is no press conference given for them. You take the lottery at its word on that. Just like you take them at their word that they've donated $1.3 billion to education. 

          No one else's life or safety should be put in jeopardy simply because you have a mistrust of the government. You don't like the government so for that reason a citizen's life should be jeopardized. Yeah, that makes so much sense. (insert sarcasm here)

          A tax refund means the government took out more of their money than they actually owed. It's not the same thing. When people have to pay forced/mandatory taxation, they deserve and have a right to know where their portion of the money goes. That's all people are asking for: where did my money go, not where everyone else's money went, but they care about that too.

          So, as for your independent auditor, they look at the financials. And they look at the lottery budget compared to the expenses. On average around 30% of revenue goes towards public benefic benefit while 60% of revenue goes towards prize expense. Citizens and the press needs to be involved or have the ability to be involved to do inspections beyond the basic financials and look for other abuses beyond or after the payments themselves have been made. And if you cut off the 60% of expenses from view by making all prize winners anonymous, will that help or hurt? Or will you expand the auditor's scope of work dramatically and give only this independent auditor access to winners names, but not the citizens of the state? That just don't sit right.

          Kinda reminds me of the NSA and the FISA court: Don't worry folks, the NSA's activities are overseen by and authorized by an independent outside FISA court, nothing's going on that isn't on the up and up. You sheeple don't need to know what the NSA is doing, don't worry about it and accept that they are working for you. Nothing to see here. Move along folks!

          We in the USofA don't just do what other countries do. Our way may be harder, slower, with checks and balances and accountability to the public. But we believe our Constitutional Republic is better than other Republics like the People's Republic of China, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. We believe we do it better.

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
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            Posted: December 9, 2013, 10:15 am - IP Logged

            I called my State Representative & my State Senator to support this common sense measure.

            People try to scam others regardless the level of personal wealth of the intended victim.

            It would also go a long way in protecting the safety of the winners and their families!

            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

             

            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

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              New York, NY
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              Posted: December 9, 2013, 12:55 pm - IP Logged

              I wish more states would do this.  I feel it should be an option.   I mean at this point if people don't know if the Lottery is real?  I don't see how showing the winner, interviewing them, posting their photo will make it more convincing.  If a person wants to have their business out there when they win that's their right.  I also feel if people want to remain anoymous they should have that option.  All States need to do this.

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                New York, NY
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                Posted: December 9, 2013, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

                I guess I'm in the minority here: I don't like anonymous.

                There's several different levels of publication of winners in different states:

                1. Full disclosure: Full name given out in marketing/promotion and cannot be refused.
                2. Partial disclosure: Marketing/promotion can be refused, only first name and last initial shown in an initial listing. No picture with ginormous check, no other promos. But person's full name is given out on public records request.
                3. Trust option: same as #2, except that if you claim as a trust, only the name of the trust is given out on public records request, not the name of the winner.
                4. Anonymous: no disclosure of winner at all.

                I'm comfortable with #3 that we have now.

                There is a need to know. But if someone really wants to be anonymous, they can form a trust. That way there's some effort required.

                And they could even do things like delay public records disclosure, which is done in other cases. Say for about a year or so to give you time to get away, set up your affairs and security.

                Why is there a need to know? 

                When the jackpot rolls back to the lowest amount, we know someone won.  Why do we really need to know WHO won, and what their plans are?  I simply do not get that.

                  Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                  Los Angeles, California
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                  Posted: December 9, 2013, 1:07 pm - IP Logged

                  I wish more states would do this.  I feel it should be an option.   I mean at this point if people don't know if the Lottery is real?  I don't see how showing the winner, interviewing them, posting their photo will make it more convincing.  If a person wants to have their business out there when they win that's their right.  I also feel if people want to remain anoymous they should have that option.  All States need to do this.

                  I believe in state's rights. Each state should decide on their own. I was giving my opinion on the issue. Eash person in each state can give theirs. To each his own.

                  I personally would refuse publicity, that's probably where most of the shenanigans come from. I don't agree with some states that require press conference or use you in marketing whether you want it or not. But that is their choice.

                  But I support open records and the rights of a researcher to request records.

                    dpoly1's avatar - driver
                    PA
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                    Posted: December 9, 2013, 1:16 pm - IP Logged

                    If you claim as a Trust in PA, your name is still published!

                    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                     

                    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                      Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                      Los Angeles, California
                      United States
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                      Posted: December 9, 2013, 1:23 pm - IP Logged

                      If you claim as a Trust in PA, your name is still published!

                      Well, see, that's the problem right there. The rules and procedures are messed up.

                      If you lived in Texas that wouldn't happen:

                      http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Trust-keeps-24-million-jackpot-winner-anonymous-3848371.php

                        Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

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                        Posted: December 9, 2013, 5:26 pm - IP Logged

                        A tax refund means the government took out more of their money than they actually owed. It's not the same thing. When people have to pay forced/mandatory taxation, they deserve and have a right to know where their portion of the money goes. That's all people are asking for: where did my money go, not where everyone else's money went, but they care about that too.

                        So, as for your independent auditor, they look at the financials. And they look at the lottery budget compared to the expenses. On average around 30% of revenue goes towards public benefic benefit while 60% of revenue goes towards prize expense. Citizens and the press needs to be involved or have the ability to be involved to do inspections beyond the basic financials and look for other abuses beyond or after the payments themselves have been made. And if you cut off the 60% of expenses from view by making all prize winners anonymous, will that help or hurt? Or will you expand the auditor's scope of work dramatically and give only this independent auditor access to winners names, but not the citizens of the state? That just don't sit right.

                        Kinda reminds me of the NSA and the FISA court: Don't worry folks, the NSA's activities are overseen by and authorized by an independent outside FISA court, nothing's going on that isn't on the up and up. You sheeple don't need to know what the NSA is doing, don't worry about it and accept that they are working for you. Nothing to see here. Move along folks!

                        We in the USofA don't just do what other countries do. Our way may be harder, slower, with checks and balances and accountability to the public. But we believe our Constitutional Republic is better than other Republics like the People's Republic of China, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. We believe we do it better.

                        Oh puh-lease. This is all hogwash and you know it. So spare me. 

                        Tax dollars aren't going towards funding any jackpots, so the public has ZERO right to know. When our taxpayers start funding the megajackpots THEN you MIGHT have a case, until then, it's simply you being both nosey and paranoid. 

                        Secondly, since when should a resident's well being come second to...anything? Kidnapping threats, murder plots, harassment, stalking (the list goes on) should be taken in stride because YOU don't feel an independent auditor should be trusted? Their safety put at risk because you feel we may be scammed otherwise. I'll tell you what, I would much rather the risk of my $1 here and there be scammed than someone murdered or their child kidnapped for ransom money simply because SOMEONE felt winners names should be publicized. 

                        If you can't trust an independent audit from some of the largest accounting firms in the world, then why do you trust someone plucked from obscurity and thrust in front of a camera? How do we know they even legitimately won? If trust and integrity are up for grabs, then everything to do with the lottery is. That goes for assuming the balls are picked randomly. We trust the people who monitor things like the weight of the balls etc that everything is on the up and up with that, but where you draw the line is on a winner's anonymity even when their safety is at risk. Ooooohkaaaay. Yeah. That makes sense.Blue Thinking

                        If the government wanted to go through the trouble  of scamming us via the lottery system, I guarantee you that they aren't going to be foiled by the publishing of a name or putting a person in front of a camera. You think they have some big ulterior plan to take hundreds of millions of dollars from the lottery and publishing a name is what's going to trip them up? You cannot possibly be seriously!

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                          NY
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                          Posted: December 9, 2013, 5:28 pm - IP Logged

                          First name last initial seems reasonable for all state lotteries to move to if they currently release full name

                          That's easy to say when your name isn't Zachary Wursterfield-Doddingsworth.

                            Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

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                            Posted: December 9, 2013, 5:33 pm - IP Logged

                            Why is there a need to know? 

                            When the jackpot rolls back to the lowest amount, we know someone won.  Why do we really need to know WHO won, and what their plans are?  I simply do not get that.

                            From the public's perspective, it's simply called being nosey. From the lottery's perspective it's free publicity. Neither is for the benefit of the JP winner. Quite the opposite. It's to the winner's detriment. Nosiness and the almighty dollar shouldn't be put ahead of someone's life. One day someone's child is going to be kidnapped or someone is going to be killed in direction relation to a winner's name being publicized, and when that bad publicity and a lawsuit comes out of it, only then will the lottery be forced to rethink their stance. I hope it doesn't come to that so I hope this law passes and that other states follow suit.

                            I might wake up early and go running.  I might also wake up and win the lottery.

                            The odds are about the same.

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                              NY
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                              Posted: December 9, 2013, 5:45 pm - IP Logged

                              Jon D,

                              "It's not my right to know, it's the public's right to know what their government is doing with their money."

                              Then how come so many 'publics' in so many countries are just fine with winners being anonymous - and not taxed? And what about the winner's rights? Should a jackpot winner be innundated with pleas from charities and deals from shysters and who knows what else just because some obnoxioulsy nosey clods somewhere think they have a 'right' to know who won?

                              If you really think the government has a monopoly on gambling, how come there are so many bookies? There's even bookies in Las Vegas - not the sports books, but bookies. The money legally bet on football in this country is mere chump change compared to what is bet illegally. The Super Bowl is a prime example.

                              Ever heard of Jessica Savitch? She was an investigative reporter doing a piece on illegal sports betting and her car went down a hill in a 'mudslide' in NJ.

                              And there are plenty of people still playing "Policy" or "The Number" with their 'man' - you would know these games as Pick 3.

                              Here's what the bookies know, legal or illegal, players are going to find the action.

                              You also said,

                              " If everything was anonymous and nobody outside the lottery could check, do you think there would there be more fraud or less?"

                              Please then tell us how you explain the states that allow players to be anonymous.

                              That mudslide was so bad, the car ended up in a canal in Pennsylvania, in a funky little place called New Hope (there's some irony in that, I think). There was nothing to indicate that it was anything more than the driver leaving a restaurant by the wrong exit and missing a turn in heavy rain. And there was no mudslide. And she was investigating the death of an Italian banker, not sports betting.

                              "Please then tell us how you explain the states that allow players to be anonymous."

                              Please explain how you know there's no fraud in those states' lotteries. How do you know that the beneficiary of one of Ohio's many anonymous lottery "wins" wasn't really some lottery officals or even the state as a whole when there's nobody even pretending they won the money?