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House committee considers bill that would allow Texas Lottery winners to remain anonymous

Apr 4, 2017, 11:47 am

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Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: House committee considers bill that would allow Texas Lottery winners to remain anonymousRating:

Texas statute already allows winners to have 'minimal publicity'

The concerns of a border resident who hopes to win the lottery someday has led to a bill now being considered by lawmakers that would allow the Texas lottery's biggest winners to remain anonymous.

On Monday, the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee considered House Bill 59 by state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, which would let winners of $1 million or more remain anonymous. It would not allow winners to hide from child support or tax obligations, Guillen said.

"For most people, winning the lottery is one of the greatest days of their lives," Guillen told the committee. "But winners of especially large sums can also become the focus of unwanted attention."

Prior to Monday's hearing, Guillen said he filed the bill after being approached by a constituent who "aspires to one day win big."

"Living on the border, and with these announcements often broadcast for all to see, she's concerned that she can be abducted, taken to Mexico, and held for ransom within minutes," Guillen said. "I understand how this kind of publicity is important for the long-term viability of the lottery, but it poses an unnecessary public safety risk for Texans."

Under the Texas Public Information Act, the Texas Lottery Commission must release to the public and the media the names of the prize winners, their city of residence and the amount of the prize won.

If a winner currently requests minimal publicity (which most do), that is the only information ever publicly released about them.  The bill under consideration would hide even that minimal information from the public.

Supporters of House Bill 59 say it would save large lottery winners from the unwanted attention that often comes after winning big. Opponents say allowing anonymity would hurt public perceptions of the integrity of the lottery, which could impact sales — and reduce the state's take from the lottery.

"When it's state money being paid out, the public has the right to know," said Kelley Shannon, the executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

However, Guillen said anonymity could protect large lottery winners from becoming immediate targets for burglary, theft or even expectations from friends and family members for monetary assistance.

Currently six states — Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina — allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Other states, including Texas, have rules in place that allow prizes to be collected through a trustee — such as a lawyer — which sometimes affords anonymity to the beneficiaries of the trust.

"Giving large lottery winners the ability to remain anonymous to the public is an easy fix that can provide much needed peace and quiet to the lives of some lucky Texans," Guillen said.

His measure was left pending in committee.

Texas Tribune, Lottery Post Staff

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14 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by MaximumMillions.
Page 1 of 1

Germany
Member #164597
March 8, 2015
803 Posts
Offline

Would the bill only cover people in the vicinty of the US-Mexico border? Live in Amarillo? Tough luck, too far from the border!Green laugh

    music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    USN United States Navy
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157851
    August 2, 2014
    3959 Posts
    Offline

    Rep. Ryan Guillen's House Bill 59 would cover all Texans who win $1 million or more. 

    Anonymity in those States who have it does not appear to influence the bottom line.

     I hope this happens in California soon.

    US Flag

     "We are all in this together!" 

      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

      United States
      Member #52343
      May 21, 2007
      3290 Posts
      Offline

      Skeptical would be nice if VA became anonymous state

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2285 Posts
        Offline

        When Orangeman builds that wall that will cut down on non-residents playing/winning.

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #132096
          August 26, 2012
          1243 Posts
          Offline

          If people want protection they should be able to have it.

          But also there should be ways to be protected from things such as this:

          https://www.lotterypost.com/news/311699

          We don't want those who are or were connected to the state lotteries stealing lottery money, including money from scratch-off tickets.

            Avatar
            South Carolina
            United States
            Member #18321
            July 9, 2005
            1826 Posts
            Offline

            When Orangeman builds that wall that will cut down on non-residents playing/winning.

            I Agree!   No Lottery Winner will be abducted from the Great State of  Texas, due to The Donald building The Wall !!!  Non-residents won't be able to cross the border to play the lottery !!!

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #164719
              March 12, 2015
              1300 Posts
              Offline

              All non residents who LEGALLY enter the US are welcome.  And all of them are welcome to purchase lottery tickets at the time of their visit. Wink

                txwinr's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                Texas
                United States
                Member #1998
                August 6, 2003
                43 Posts
                Offline

                I like it, otherwise you are just a target to too many scammers and moochers.

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  100
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
                  Member #30469
                  January 17, 2006
                  11504 Posts
                  Offline

                  Do like Australia, put a NP- No Publicity-  option on the ticket.

                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                  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.

                    AlanHarvey's avatar - stern
                    Houston
                    United States
                    Member #181267
                    April 19, 2017
                    22 Posts
                    Offline

                    I hope this bill passes. I have a friend who won the Texas Lotto and was bombarded with all kinds of nut job requests for money. I was really sad.Poke

                      Avatar
                      Chasing $ Millions.
                      White Shores- California
                      United States
                      Member #136473
                      December 12, 2012
                      6337 Posts
                      Offline

                      I hope this bill passes. I have a friend who won the Texas Lotto and was bombarded with all kinds of nut job requests for money. I was really sad.Poke

                      Texas is one of those State's that allows concealed weapons does it not? Everyone packin...no problem.Request away.

                       * Voice of Reason *   

                       

                      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                        Avatar
                        New Member

                        United States
                        Member #182391
                        June 15, 2017
                        1 Posts
                        Offline

                        HB 59 was signed by the Governor  on 6/12/17. It will become effective on 9/1/17. Rule changes must be adopted by 12/1/17. Applies to winning 1 million or more after 1/1/18


                          Germany
                          Member #164597
                          March 8, 2015
                          803 Posts
                          Offline

                          HB 59 was signed by the Governor  on 6/12/17. It will become effective on 9/1/17. Rule changes must be adopted by 12/1/17. Applies to winning 1 million or more after 1/1/18

                          Wow, I didn't think Texas would go anonymous before Jersey and California. 

                          Maybe others will follow suit.