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Michigan lottery winners could remain anonymous under House bill

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

Page 2 of 2
Bethesda MD
United States
Member #134908
November 10, 2012
31 Posts
Posted: May 16, 2015, 9:50 am - IP Logged

That is one of the reasons I don't play games with large jackpots,  my other reasons are well known here,  so I don't need to mention them.





    United States
    Member #32651
    February 14, 2006
    8928 Posts
    Posted: May 16, 2015, 11:53 pm - IP Logged

    You've heard the touching stories: a waitress, retiree or unemployed worker hits the jackpot and wins the state lottery.

    Under a bill approved by the Michigan House Regulatory Reform committee on a 13-2 vote Wednesday, those stories would probably disappear because all lottery winners would be able to remain anonymous.

    The bill would prohibit the state lottery office from disclosing information about an individual who won any lottery prize unless that winner authorizes the release of information. That option for anonymity exists now for people who win more than $10,000, but not for people who win the Mega Millions or Powerball prizes.

    Currently six states — Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina — allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. And four more — Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts — allow anonymity if the winners claim their winnings through a trust.

    "Lottery winnings, while for many is a major plus in their live, it can be a major negative at times," said state Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama. "It costs friendships. It costs family relationships. It costs jobs. I thought it should be an option that's available."

    The Lottery Commission is against the bill because they say it will hamper the agency's ability to generate publicity, and ultimately, sales of lottery tickets. A decline in lottery sales would reduce revenues to the school aid fund, the commission said. The fund received $742.8 million from lottery revenues in the last fiscal year.

    Of the 87 lottery winners of more than $50,000 in 2014, 69% decided to remain anonymous, said Jeff Holyfield, spokesman for the Lottery Commission. Only one Michigan resident won a Mega Millions pot of $66 million last year and her name was made public.

    "We look at it as a step backward in terms of openness and transparency," Holyfield said.

    The bill — HB 4433 — now moves to the full House for consideration.

    I wonder how this bill will affect $1 million winners like Amanda Clayton who won her prize on televised lottery game show. And what about those who continue collecting public assistance after a big win; who will know when they claimed anonymously?

      Think's avatar - lightbulb
      Marquette, MI
      United States
      Member #20540
      August 20, 2005
      874 Posts
      Posted: May 22, 2015, 10:16 pm - IP Logged

      The MSL asserts that sales will fall due to a lack of transparency?  Where are the figures for a plummet in sales when the games went with no publicity options in 1988/1989?

      I have not seen any.

      The MSL asserts they want greater transparency yet, back in 2002, MSL switched to computer RNG drawings and they stopped televising the drawings for many games.  I have yet to see a 'live' computer RNG drawing televised on the nightly lottery spot.  All they do now is basically say here, here are a bunch of numbers some mysterious computer came up with somewhere at sometime which, as far as you know, may or may not have been today.  In fact, we could have just made up these numbers and you would never know because we don't televise the 'RNG draws' ever.

      We claimed to switch to RNGs to make the drawings cheaper but we still use balls for the pick 3 and pick 4 draws and we televise those actual draws.

      Even if we did televise the RNG draws you could never tell if there actually was an RNG picking the numbers or if we just programed the computer to flash up any numbers we want it to flash up.

      Hello, thank you for calling, we are the MSL and transparency is very important to us.  Please stay on the line while we abuse and exploit you further and thank you for wasting your time and money on our "transparent" RNG draws...

        Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

        United States
        Member #142495
        May 13, 2013
        1390 Posts
        Posted: May 23, 2015, 4:50 am - IP Logged

        I wonder how this bill will affect $1 million winners like Amanda Clayton who won her prize on televised lottery game show. And what about those who continue collecting public assistance after a big win; who will know when they claimed anonymously?

        I don't think people understand what lottery anonymity means because I keep seeing these points brought up which are ridiculous. The general public not being privy to a winner's name, is completely different from the government not knowing who won a taxable amount of money.

        Guess what, people who win in states that allow for anonymity still have to pay federal and state taxes. The government knows who they are. Publicity didn't stop bilkers from getting government assistance even when their actions go viral. As despicable and immoral as it was, it wasn't illegal. That idiot Fink didn't stop receiving food stamps even after a reporter showed up at his door wanting to know why he was still using food stamps when he'd won over $1M. Publicity did nothing except force lawmakers to change the law to prevent situations like that from re-occurring.

        Unless MUSL starts paying winners in cash, the fears of people bilking the system if their identities aren't publicized isn't a good one. They're publicized now and the system was still bilked. That's obviously not a good solution. It did absolutely nothing to dissuade them. If the law allows people to collect food stamps even when they're millionaires, there will always be someone who will take advantage of it. The publicity factor is immaterial.