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Idaho Lottery-winner secrecy bill headed to House floor

Feb 15, 2017, 6:29 pm

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Idaho LotteryIdaho Lottery: Idaho Lottery-winner secrecy bill headed to House floorRating:

BOISE, ID — A proposal to provide more confidentiality for lottery winners got pushback Wednesday from the Idaho State Lottery Commission, but was ultimately approved by a legislative panel.

"This idea came to me from one of my constituents: an elderly lady who was a lottery winner but was quickly harassed by phone calls and people showing up at her door, trying to separate her from her winnings," said Rep. Lynn Luker (R-Boise). "If we approve this, Idaho would join six other states that offer some form of anonymity to lottery winners."

House Bill 95 would prevent the Idaho Lottery from disclosing the names or addresses of winners without their approval. The new rule would be limited to winnings of $600 or higher.

"But $600 is too low a number. It's an over-broad number. If this is designed to protect people from harassment, fine, but the level of $600 is not appropriate," said former Idaho House member and current lobbyist Skip Smyser, who added he was representing the Idaho press corps."Transparency is important. Idahoans want to know if Idahoans are actually winning the lottery."

Lottery Director Jeff Anderson said he "agreed to disagree" with Luker regarding the intent of the legislation, but still testified in opposition.

"Currently, people have to let us know if they don't want us to use their identity. This legislation reverses that, [to] where people would have to opt in for us to use their identity. They're playing a public game," said Anderson. "In my 10 years with the lottery, I'm unaware of any individual who has been harassed. It doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but we haven't heard about it."

When it came down to a vote, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee divided along party lines, with Democratic Reps. Paulette Jordan (Plummer) and Elaine Smith (Pocatello) voting "no" and the Republican supermajority agreeing to forward the legislation to the full House.

Currently, just six states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. In Arizona, lawmakers recently passed legislation that shields lottery winners' identities for 90 days after they claim their prize.

Boise Weekly

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24 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by Stack47.
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lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

United States
Member #118604
November 4, 2011
1440 Posts
Offline

Now when are the rest of the states going to fall into place?  IMO this is needed to help keep lottery winners safe.  $600 isnt life changing but I think it should be applied to winnings of a minimum of one million dollars.

    Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

    United States
    Member #142493
    May 13, 2013
    1394 Posts
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    Now when are the rest of the states going to fall into place?  IMO this is needed to help keep lottery winners safe.  $600 isnt life changing but I think it should be applied to winnings of a minimum of one million dollars.

    That guy in GA got killed for a lot less than $1 million. $250,000 is where I'd be comfortable seeing it start.

    I agree the other states need to get with the program and put their constituents above their own greed/self interests for once. I don't doubt that many lottery officials haven't directly heard of issues with harassment. Why would anyone complain to them knowing where they stand on the issue of anonymity. If he bothered to read the news or watch any of the lottery shows, they'd know otherwise.

    I too would prefer Cersei Lannister to Tiny Hands. She always pays her debts, hasn't filed 6 bankruptcies and is educated enough to know Nambia isn't a country.

      Avatar
      Marana AZ
      United States
      Member #145335
      August 3, 2013
      271 Posts
      Offline

      Announcing the city and state where the prize was won should be enough to assure Idahoans that their fellow Idahoans are winning the prizes.  Things are just too crazy nowadays to keep risking the lives of lottery winners.  The most recent one killed was Maunds Bryant in December, less than 2 months ago.  I don't know what rock that Idaho lottery official has been living under to be unaware that anyone has ever been killed because of their lottery win.


        Germany
        Member #164595
        March 8, 2015
        803 Posts
        Offline

        I think more states allowing for anonymity is a good thing. The concerning agencies will still get the necessary info, audits will still be done.

        Would be a smart move for the Idaho LC,  I think "border people" from WA, OR, NV, UT and Montana would make the trip.

          Avatar
          New Member

          United States
          Member #171624
          January 10, 2016
          10 Posts
          Offline

          Totally agree that all states need to do this. There are a lot of scam artist out there just waiting for prey. 

          As far as the 600 limit.. In Indiana prizes 500 or lower can be claimed at any store and you don't need to give any info, so basically by having a 600 limit, it covers all.

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157849
            August 2, 2014
            3959 Posts
            Offline

            Totally agree that all states need to do this. There are a lot of scam artist out there just waiting for prey. 

            As far as the 600 limit.. In Indiana prizes 500 or lower can be claimed at any store and you don't need to give any info, so basically by having a 600 limit, it covers all.

             If the California legislature does something like this than other States will fall in line. California is a political leader in a lot of past laws. 

             The other States followed California when Proposition 13, the real estate tax revolt passed by the vote of the people. It is a Constitutional Amendment.

             California Lottery Commission will release the name of the winner, the name, and location of the store where the ticket was purchased, the amount won, and how the winnings were claimed- Lump sum or Annuity.

             "We are all in this together!" 

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #141028
              April 2, 2013
              1481 Posts
              Offline

              Just one line on the claim form.

              DO YOU WANT TO STAY ANONYMOUS?          YES-----------NO---------

              So simple.

              Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

              Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #164717
                March 12, 2015
                1300 Posts
                Offline

                In California they dont just reveal the names of people who win jackpots, they use them as free advertising in that their names are flashed on computer screens where they sell lottery tickets for years. I think that is wrong.  There is a difference between making a name public versus using their names for advertising that they didnt agree to.

                Two years ago, there was a $26 million jackpot that someone won. The lottery posted that they had proof that their lives were in danger (I got an Armenian Mafia vibe) and they still published their names. I think the lottery just delayed publishing the name allowing them to get their money and leave town.  Still makes me very uncomfortable.

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #164717
                  March 12, 2015
                  1300 Posts
                  Offline

                   If the California legislature does something like this than other States will fall in line. California is a political leader in a lot of past laws. 

                   The other States followed California when Proposition 13, the real estate tax revolt passed by the vote of the people. It is a Constitutional Amendment.

                   California Lottery Commission will release the name of the winner, the name, and location of the store where the ticket was purchased, the amount won, and how the winnings were claimed- Lump sum or Annuity.

                  I think it is wise to say very little to them when you claim your prize otherwise they will give your statements to the press. So, when the people at the lottery office ask you what you are going to do with your gazilions, tell them to mind their own dam business. Jester

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163182
                    January 22, 2015
                    2685 Posts
                    Offline

                    My Sister, a non-lottery player next to Boise said some jerk(s) out there want to remove the self service lottery machines because they resemble a slot machine.  Give me a break.  Haven't they have more important issues to tackle than this?  Leave lottery players alone with this and pass privacy to lottery winners. 

                     

                    How about the show I think it's called 'The lottery changed my life'.  First and last name(s) plastered all over the place along with the big fake check.  One could easily find them.  Never understand why one would make themselves such an easy target.


                      Germany
                      Member #164595
                      March 8, 2015
                      803 Posts
                      Offline

                      My Sister, a non-lottery player next to Boise said some jerk(s) out there want to remove the self service lottery machines because they resemble a slot machine.  Give me a break.  Haven't they have more important issues to tackle than this?  Leave lottery players alone with this and pass privacy to lottery winners. 

                       

                      How about the show I think it's called 'The lottery changed my life'.  First and last name(s) plastered all over the place along with the big fake check.  One could easily find them.  Never understand why one would make themselves such an easy target.

                      How is a self-service kiosk a slot machine, jfc. People need to mind their own business.

                       

                      If I won I would give my info, say I felt lucky and dnidn't have any immediate plany and not answer any questions other than ones related to receiving payment.Cool

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163182
                        January 22, 2015
                        2685 Posts
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                        Imagine if slot machines were as a big as a self service lottery machine!  Now some are very large, but can't have too many due to space limitations.  You can easily fit three slot machines in the space of some of the large slot machines and that takes away from having more people play.

                         

                        Las Vegas here I come mid-March!!


                          Germany
                          Member #164595
                          March 8, 2015
                          803 Posts
                          Offline

                          Imagine if slot machines were as a big as a self service lottery machine!  Now some are very large, but can't have too many due to space limitations.  You can easily fit three slot machines in the space of some of the large slot machines and that takes away from having more people play.

                           

                          Las Vegas here I come mid-March!!

                          The biggest pay off on a lottery vending machine is probably when it topples on you. ROFL

                          I wish you much luck for Vegas, been planning a trip for 4 years now and always had to cancel. Do me a favor, play 1 3$ spin on Megabucks directly at the airport. Wouldn't that be something, winning after 2 minutes on the ground?

                            brees2012's avatar - animal whale.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #125171
                            March 26, 2012
                            295 Posts
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                            All States should be Anonymous ......