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WV Lottery officials oppose jackpot anonymity bill

West Virginia LotteryWest Virginia Lottery: WV Lottery officials oppose jackpot anonymity bill
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The times of the big lottery check presentations may soon come to an end in West Virginia.

Winners of big jackpots would no longer have to make required public appearances to claim those prizes if a bill that's moving at the State Capitol becomes law.

The West Virginia Lottery is opposing the bill because of what John Myers, acting director of the Lottery, called "an expectation of transparency" among players.

"They want to know that, when we tell them that there's a grand prize winner, that we actually give that money away and that it's to somebody that played the game and followed the rules," he said. "That's important to our players."

Public prize claims also help drive sales, according to Myers.

"This really sets this apart as a big game, a big reward and people know that and that's why, I think, we see the place on that game (Powerball and the like) that we don't see on some of the others," he said.

The House bill, now pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, adds a section to the West Virginia Lottery Act.

With it, a Powerball, Mega Millions or Hot Lotto winner could choose to remain anonymous and there would be an allowance for a Freedom of Information Act exemption if a person opts to accept a jackpot prize anonymously to keep it that way.

The winner would be permitted to contact the lottery director at West Virginia Lottery headquarters in Charleston in writing — either via certified mail or e-mail.

At that point, it would then be up to the lottery director to schedule an appointment "at any county, regional or state lottery office to confirm the winning number and to otherwise secure the anonymity of the requesting person."

The big press events that follow large jackpot prizes currently in West Virginia can help winners maintain more privacy in the long run, argued Myers.

"If we don't do it all at one time, sometimes they'll have people knocking on their doors wanting an interview for weeks at a time after they've won it. It tends to get it all over, they can get on with their lives," he said.

Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson, 67) is the lead sponsor of HB 4505. The House of Delegates approved it Monday with a 95-3 vote and sent it on to the Senate with the 2016 Regular Session scheduled to close on Saturday, March 12.

Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina are the only states that currently allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. There are some disclosure exceptions in other states.

MetroNews

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28 comments. Last comment 9 months ago by TheGameGrl.
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haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
United States
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June 29, 2011
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Posted: March 2, 2016, 10:14 am - IP Logged

They're opposed to it B/C of all the problems anonymity caused in DE KS MD and others...

let's see there was...umm...well there was uh...no...in one place they had...uh...nevermind !

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

    music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
    Happy California
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    Posted: March 2, 2016, 10:25 am - IP Logged

     Thank You Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson,67).  I hope it passes in the Senate.

     This is  too late to help Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whitaker winner of Power Ball $315 million.

     I wonder how many winners will want to go public and do the press event?

     Stooges

     I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

     Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

      hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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      Posted: March 2, 2016, 10:38 am - IP Logged

       Thank You Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson,67).  I hope it passes in the Senate.

       This is  too late to help Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whitaker winner of Power Ball $315 million.

       I wonder how many winners will want to go public and do the press event?

       Stooges

      Skeptical my guess is that ole Jack would've gone public even if he had the option back then

        Avatar

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        Member #164725
        March 12, 2015
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        Posted: March 2, 2016, 10:52 am - IP Logged

        "If we don't do it all at one time, sometimes they'll have people knocking on their doors wanting an interview for weeks at a time after they've won it. It tends to get it all over, they can get on with their lives," he said.

         

        Bull. People could pack up and move or go on extended vacation and then move. People know what's best for them and they dont need gov officials making life changing decisions for them.  Plus, bottom line the state wants the free publicity to drive sales. That's it in a nutshell. 

          rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
          Texas
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          October 23, 2007
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          Posted: March 2, 2016, 11:06 am - IP Logged

          Jack caused his own problems.

          Who in their right mind leaves thousands of dollars in their truck at a strip joint?

          CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

          A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

            HoLeeKau's avatar - YheaShea
            Idaho
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            July 17, 2010
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            Posted: March 2, 2016, 11:33 am - IP Logged

            "If we don't do it all at one time, sometimes they'll have people knocking on their doors wanting an interview for weeks at a time after they've won it. It tends to get it all over, they can get on with their lives," he said.

             

            No, Einstein.  If they're allowed to stay anonymous, no one will be knocking on their door because no one will know who they are!

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              Posted: March 2, 2016, 11:41 am - IP Logged

              "If we don't do it all at one time, sometimes they'll have people knocking on their doors wanting an interview for weeks at a time after they've won it. It tends to get it all over, they can get on with their lives," he said.

               

              No, Einstein.  If they're allowed to stay anonymous, no one will be knocking on their door because no one will know who they are!

              That's how I originally interpreted it. But I think he is justifying why they had press conferences when anonymity was not allowed.

                Avatar
                NYC
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                Posted: March 2, 2016, 11:57 am - IP Logged

                I remember Brad Duke said they were people camping out on his front lawn after he won. Like wtf is wrong with some people to think it's okay to do something like that.

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                  Oklahoma
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                  Posted: March 2, 2016, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

                  They're opposed to it B/C of all the problems anonymity caused in DE KS MD and others...

                  let's see there was...umm...well there was uh...no...in one place they had...uh...nevermind !

                  Big Grin

                  I Love Pink & Green 1908

                    OneTrickpony's avatar - thought

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                    Posted: March 2, 2016, 1:45 pm - IP Logged

                    Naming winners is free publicity.  It drives up sales and brings their advertisement budget in under cap = Big Fat Bonus for the lottery senior management.  While I'm all for performance-based bonuses, not at the expense of someone possibly being harmed by exposure.

                      music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
                      Happy California
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                      Posted: March 2, 2016, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

                       We shall not forget family and friends who beg & beg. "Friends and relations are the worst." Spoken by a lottery winner who donates one hundred dollars to charity when the Chicago White Sox hits a home run, in honor of his late wife. Alex Snelius. I found him using LP's Search box. $18.5 M lottery winner scraping by.

                       It has been said that we do not have to fear the gangs in the hood but instead beware of foxes disguised in business suits. They come in sheep's clothing.

                      Sun Smiley

                       I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

                       Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

                        MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
                        Beautiful Florida
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                        Posted: March 2, 2016, 5:18 pm - IP Logged

                        Is the State Lottery Commision that Niave' ? If a Lawyer or represntitive picks up the check, that's proof enough.

                         They need to get their act together if they're going to continue as paid employee's. Unbelievable.

                        The need for privacy is  a must......

                                                                     

                                                                       "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

                          dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                          Oklahoma
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                          November 12, 2009
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                          Posted: March 2, 2016, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

                          Is the State Lottery Commision that Niave' ? If a Lawyer or represntitive picks up the check, that's proof enough.

                           They need to get their act together if they're going to continue as paid employee's. Unbelievable.

                          The need for privacy is  a must......

                          I Agree!

                          I Love Pink & Green 1908

                            Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

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                            Posted: March 2, 2016, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

                            Naming winners is free publicity.  It drives up sales and brings their advertisement budget in under cap = Big Fat Bonus for the lottery senior management.  While I'm all for performance-based bonuses, not at the expense of someone possibly being harmed by exposure.

                            I think a more important issue would be for
                            WV to lower the 6.5% state lotto-prize tax.

                            New York has the highest lotto tax at 8.8%.
                            And, the higher the jackpot, the higher 'their' tax,
                            when you and I have often spent our last dollar buying a doggone lotto ticket.

                            New Jersey has the lowest tax at 3%.

                            So, isn't lowering the state lotto-prize tax, nationwide, a more important issue?

                            What would the states do then? 
                            Drop lotto once and for all, with the big lobby they have?

                            • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                            • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                            • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                                      (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)