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Lottery officials say identifying winners a must

Topic closed. 59 replies. Last post 10 months ago by sirbrad.

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Bondi Junction
Australia
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December 24, 2007
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Posted: January 20, 2016, 6:16 am - IP Logged

When the time came to claim the largest jackpot ever on a Massachusetts scratch ticket, it wasn’t the person who bought the ticket who showed up for the $15 million prize.

Instead, the two smiling men holding an oversized check and scratch ticket in the photo taken in July at Lottery headquarters in Braintree are a lawyer and an accountant. The actual winner’s name was not disclosed to the public or even to Lottery officials.

That’s because the winner, or winners, formed a legal trust to claim the prize – the largest ever in an instant win game. It’s a practice that’s been around for years but has taken off this year as a growing number of winners seek to keep their newfound wealth a secret.

We all get a lot out of lotteries!

    Bondi Junction
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    Posted: January 20, 2016, 6:23 am - IP Logged

    States wrestle with winners' privacy vs. integrity of games

    In the California lottery handbook for winners, officials offer a few suggestions to newly minted millionaires. Change your number. Stop answering your phone. And find a reputable financial adviser.

    That's because along with the money comes 15 minutes of fame as the names of winners are required to be made public in California and many other states.

    All eyes are on the Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills, where one of three tickets in Wednesday night's record-breaking $1.6 billion Powerball drawing was purchased. No one has come forward to claim the prize in California.

    "We're waiting for who this person is," said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the California Lottery.

    Traverso said large jackpots like the one in Wednesday's drawing drive debate over whether the names of lottery winners should be made public. Past winners have complained of being besieged by con artists and swindled by friends.

    Millionaire slain

    Critics of the disclosure laws often point to the case of Abraham Shakespeare, who won $30 million in the Florida lottery in 2006, and three years later, was killed by a woman who managed his winnings. (See Woman found guilty of murder in lottery winner's death, Lottery Post, Dec. 11, 2012.)

    Andrew Stoltmann, an Illinois attorney who has represented winners, told the Associated Press that making winners' names public is like "throwing meat into a shark-infested ocean."

    But lottery officials say it's important public information to ensure the drawings are transparent and to deter would-be cheaters.

    "We want people to know we have winners every day," Traverso said. "If people don't see people winning the lottery, then they won't buy tickets. ... The only time we hear talk of changing the regulations to allow anonymity is when we have jackpots like (Wednesday's)."

    Besides Chino Hills, the two other winning Powerball tickets were purchased in Munford, Tenn., and Melbourne Beach, Fla. A Tennessee couple, John and Lisa Robinson, announced on the "Today" show on Friday that they were the winners from their state.

    Tennessee lottery officials later confirmed the couple were the winners in an afternoon news conference. The family plans to take a lump sum payout of $327 million. (See Tennessee couple claims share of $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot, Lottery Post, Jan. 15, 2016.)

    Showed ticket on TV

    John Robinson, who pulled the winning ticket from his shirt pocket on the "Today" show, said he realized he was losing his anonymity after the announcement.

    "Now I'll be nervous because everybody knows," he said on the broadcast.

    (See Lottery veterans question Tennessee family's behavior before claiming Powerball winnings, Lottery Post, Jan. 16, 2016.)

    All three states with winning Powerball tickets have laws requiring the identity of the winner to be made public. In Tennessee and Florida, the states' lottery policy is to identify a person's name and city of residence.

    California requires that a person's name be made public, but not their city. Lottery officials include the person's name, where the ticket was purchased and how much was won in press releases.

    "You aren't compelled to do a press conference or have your picture taken, but we are going to release your name because it's public information," Traverso said. "We want people to know the lottery is creating winners, and we want to be sensitive to our winners that they may not want their details thrown out there to the world."

    California has required that the names of winners be made public since voters first passed Proposition 37, also known as the California State Lottery Act, in 1984. Changing the antianonymity law would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and approval of the governor.

    Only six states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous — Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina. Some states allow winners to shield their identity by claiming their winnings through a trust or a limited liability company.

    No anonymity in state

    In recent years, several states have considered changing their laws to allow for winners to protect their identity. California lawmakers have not taken up the issue — and with good reason, said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.

    "Winners need to be public so the public has faith in the lottery," Ting said. "Beneficiary anonymity cannot overshadow governmental accountability to the public."

    In the UK, winners have the right to remain anonymous, the vast majority choose to remain anonymous. People who choose publicly, often regret it later.

    We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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      Posted: January 20, 2016, 9:40 am - IP Logged

      my state will find a formidable opponent in showing my face or getting my information.  contracting over the ticket to a law firm has that effect.  it is a bearer instrument and there is nothing any state can do about that.

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        sarasota,fl
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        Posted: January 20, 2016, 12:00 pm - IP Logged

        First and foremost there is a huge difference between the average working person or persons whom most of America does not know and well known high paid athletes, actors/actresses or celebrity figures. Most of them have security for one reason only that is for the safety of their families as well as themselves from droves of admiring fans, crazies and people who may want to kidnap a family member for ransom not, because they may be robbed at gunpoint for all this money that most probably don't carry around on their person. When they are drafted into their respective league's they are given instruction or classes on people who are out to scam them out of their earnings, bring frivolous lawsuits against them and so on. So comparing the average working American to the mega-rich well known around around the globe celebrity is like trying to compare APPLES TO TANGERINES.

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          Posted: January 20, 2016, 12:27 pm - IP Logged

          In this day and age, there is no anonymity. A simple google search will reveal all. There are those who can afford high end security and those that cant. Eventually, someone will get kidnapped and/or killed and they will change the laws. 

            sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
            PA
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            Posted: January 20, 2016, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

            I don't think most people are hiding anything. They want to protect their way of life. Or don't want everyone coming out of the woodwork to ask for cash.

            If they are that worried they should not be playing the lottery. That is part of what comes with it. But the reality is that most do not have any major issues if they are smart. As a player who is spending money I want proof that there are real winners. If I won and could be anonymous I would probably do so but if I can't I don't care. I am well prepared and I am not afraid of anyone. I would say that anyone who has a problem come and get you some, I will have presents waiting for you. But in my case I don't see that happening because as I said I am well prepared in every way. It is important to know that real people are winning it.

              sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
              PA
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              Posted: January 20, 2016, 2:08 pm - IP Logged

              There are 30 NBA teams and every team has several players making over $1 million a year and several college coaches have 7 figure salaries too. Add to that other sports teams, golfers, team owners and business owners. Some of the people in this forum are gulible enough to believe lottery winners would be targeted more than any other group of millionaires by simple answering a bunch of stupid questions at press conference. I've always wondered what lottery winners have to hide.

              IMO, the TN winners killed two birds with one stone by appearing on the Today Show. Do you think they will be in more danger than a basketball player that just signed a $100 million multi year contract?

              Well that is because they are jealous that common folks won it and did not "earn it" and actually mad because it was not them. So that is why they say that. I would not say they are as protected as an NBA athlete but they are more open to regular people. But I also doubt they will be in any real danger just because they won the lottery. People are confusing these and the extreme bad cases, and thinking that is what happens when everyone wins the lottery. No...it doesn't. Most are those had issues before they won. The lottery only compounded their problems. People also assume they are less prepared when they win unlike a professional athlete who usually has a team of people already, and is "working/playing" for it.

              Last I checked the West family was doing great, who won $340 million in 2007. People on here be like "Who??"  LOL And countless others as well who won. I have not heard of Gloria Mackenzie getting robbed yet. $590 million and shops at Walmart still. I would too. She seems like she would be the easiest "target". The ones who say that stuff are just mad they did not win, so they try and condemn those who do. They don't care about them they just use that line so they can spew hate. They don't even know the winners, just as if they won they would not know them or care either way. They are just paranoid and self-centered people and assume the world is going to stop and come after them just because they won the lottery. Please. Maybe their family friends if that but that is about it unless they create their own problems.

                Think's avatar - lightbulb
                Marquette, MI
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                Posted: January 20, 2016, 3:48 pm - IP Logged

                " " Traverso said. "If people don't see people winning the lottery, then they won't buy tickets. ..." "

                Would you please back your baseless assertions with facts  Mr Traverso ?

                "Only six states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous � Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina"

                Mr Traverso where is the Data on how far ticket sales have plummeted in the six states in this article that allow privacy?

                Surely you must have it and be able to back your assertion with quantifiable facts!

                I am patiently waiting to see your data on the scourge of anonymity vs lottery ticket sales.

                Thank you, in advance, for showing your data and proving that you are not just some opinionated bloviating clown.

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                  Alpharetta, GA
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                  Posted: January 20, 2016, 4:18 pm - IP Logged

                  Interestingly enough, a republican in the GA state legislature proposed a bill that would allow lotto winners in GA to remain anonymous BUT they would have to forK over an additional 25% of their win to the state for this privledge.  I heard this on the radio and don't have a link.  I'm all for anonymous claiming of jackpots but not state funded extortion like that.

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                    NY
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                    Posted: January 20, 2016, 4:49 pm - IP Logged

                    "I'm all for anonymous claiming of jackpots but not state funded extortion like that."

                    It's not extortion. They're simply letting you voluntarily pay them for their loss of marketing opportunity if they can't use your identity to promote the lottery. I think they're charging more than the loss justifies, but there's a logical argument for the concept.

                      savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
                      adelaide sa
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                      Posted: January 20, 2016, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

                      Interestingly enough, a republican in the GA state legislature proposed a bill that would allow lotto winners in GA to remain anonymous BUT they would have to forK over an additional 25% of their win to the state for this privledge.  I heard this on the radio and don't have a link.  I'm all for anonymous claiming of jackpots but not state funded extortion like that.

                      so winners arn't paying enough taxes already?

                      2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016 JAN = -106; FEB= -81; MAR= -131; APR= - 87: MAY= -91; JUN= -39; JUL=-134; AUG= -124; SEP = -123; OCT= -84  NOV=- 73 TOT= -3498

                      keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= JAN=-32, FEB= +12 , MAR= -86, APR = -77. MAY= -48, JUN= -29, JUL=-71; AUG = -52; SEPT= -43; OCT = +56 NOV = -33 TOT= -3297

                        deborahl's avatar - lib
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                        Medford
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                        Posted: January 20, 2016, 6:59 pm - IP Logged

                        LOTTERY SCANDLE

                        They are real tight lipped on the news about Tipton.  This scandle happens to be in the midst of the biggest lottery win in the world's history. They did not announce his or his accomplices evil doings in any way that I saw. I only read about it here. Big wigs are not working anymore over it and they still don't see it fit to speak much about it on the new. I'm not thinking they are too much into the integrity of the games. It is more important to hush the news then to update us of their so called integrity.

                          Romancandle's avatar - moon
                          Upacreek
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                          Posted: January 20, 2016, 9:01 pm - IP Logged

                          There are 30 NBA teams and every team has several players making over $1 million a year and several college coaches have 7 figure salaries too. Add to that other sports teams, golfers, team owners and business owners. Some of the people in this forum are gulible enough to believe lottery winners would be targeted more than any other group of millionaires by simple answering a bunch of stupid questions at press conference. I've always wondered what lottery winners have to hide.

                          IMO, the TN winners killed two birds with one stone by appearing on the Today Show. Do you think they will be in more danger than a basketball player that just signed a $100 million multi year contract?

                          Ouch Stack47 Disapprove

                          I disagree, even more so with that analogy, money earned vs. money won- the psychology behind that is well documented, but anyway.

                          So, let's do a dry run here... for your future press conference Wink

                          What's your real name Stack47 (First and Last) and where do you live (city and state)???

                          Your got nothing to hide right?

                          -RC

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                            WA
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                            Posted: January 20, 2016, 11:29 pm - IP Logged

                            Well that is because they are jealous that common folks won it and did not "earn it" and actually mad because it was not them. So that is why they say that. I would not say they are as protected as an NBA athlete but they are more open to regular people. But I also doubt they will be in any real danger just because they won the lottery. People are confusing these and the extreme bad cases, and thinking that is what happens when everyone wins the lottery. No...it doesn't. Most are those had issues before they won. The lottery only compounded their problems. People also assume they are less prepared when they win unlike a professional athlete who usually has a team of people already, and is "working/playing" for it.

                            Last I checked the West family was doing great, who won $340 million in 2007. People on here be like "Who??"  LOL And countless others as well who won. I have not heard of Gloria Mackenzie getting robbed yet. $590 million and shops at Walmart still. I would too. She seems like she would be the easiest "target". The ones who say that stuff are just mad they did not win, so they try and condemn those who do. They don't care about them they just use that line so they can spew hate. They don't even know the winners, just as if they won they would not know them or care either way. They are just paranoid and self-centered people and assume the world is going to stop and come after them just because they won the lottery. Please. Maybe their family friends if that but that is about it unless they create their own problems.

                            Your posts may be the most entertaining on here...but you do spend a lot of time talking about 1 how well-prepared you are and not scared of anything,  2 how big lottery winners have nothing to fear unless they already have problems because all that moola will make them very happy :) 

                            You do make some good points, but then you kinda say one thing, then another...but I can relate lol :)

                            IMHO, it's good to admit to yourself that maybe you may have problems if you win mega $$'s, and it may be good to keep that in mind....I have heard that many very wise souls say that money isn't evil, but it is the major cause thereof....meaning, a lack of $$ causes many problems, but so does an abundance, because it often causes people to think that they have it made and get all puffed up about themselves - and many also become callous of those in need...and also, it allows people to pursue all the things like partying, sex, etc....look at many celebs...like Robin Williams said: Cocaine is God's way of telling you that you make too much money, lol :)

                            Me, I am not so sure how I would really handle it, I like to think I would be fine, and be able to help family, etc...but I have seen first-hand how it can change people for the worst, so who knows but God how I would do. (yep, I personally know at least 3 people that I knew when I was young that became millionaires, 1 my childhood bestfriend (big $$ lawyer who had stock in a local bank that got bought out - cha ching, his dad too).....2 of them lost it- one of those was this All-American boy who you would have never believed it but became addicted to coke (that guy actually died of cancer)...my old BF is mostly in Mexico as far as I know, but we don't have the same social circle (I have no circle actually) :)

                            And, just how do you know the Wests are doing great? Not saying they aren't, or Gloria, but you don't know one way or the other....you also used that Stafford lady as an example of someone handling a big JP well, until it turned out she didn't :)

                            Still, if I had my druthers, I still think I could do well....but who really knows the truth of it until it happens.

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                              WA
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                              Posted: January 20, 2016, 11:43 pm - IP Logged

                              Lol, yeah, easy to say (Stack47), but with big $$'s comes problems....just the way it is....mo money, mo problems :)

                              It might be a good thing, but it won't be problem free - might be fun and it would be nice to have (I think) but you're kidding yourself to think you could just do what you wanted without people hounding you.