Georgia bill would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous — for a price

Jan 31, 2018, 8:12 am (30 comments)

Georgia Lottery

The Georgia Senate's higher education committee voted in favor Tuesday of allowing a bill to move forward that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous — but they would have to pay for that privacy.

Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 331, said the legislation is aimed at protecting multi-million dollar lottery winners from scam artists and other criminals.

"It could put you at risk," Henson said during Tuesday's committee meeting.

Henson said eight states have laws that offer lottery winners complete or partial anonymity.

Committee chairman Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, said lawmakers must weigh the privacy concerns Henson laid out against concerns the bill would reduce public transparency.

"There are pros and cons on both sides," he said.

The Georgia First Amendment Foundation has raised transparency concerns. (See Georgia group fights to prevent lottery winners from claiming anonymously, Lottery Post, Jan. 29, 2018.)

The bill would require winners seeking anonymity to give up to 4 percent of their winnings to the state for officials to manage open records requests and other costs to maintain confidentiality.

Lottery proceeds help fund the state's HOPE college scholarship program.

AJC, Lottery Post Staff



Honestly is this best they can do?  Ripoff potential winners.  What a crock.


Quote: Originally posted by Bleudog101 on Jan 31, 2018

Honestly is this best they can do?  Ripoff potential winners.  What a crock.

This is a crock and nothing but a money grab by the state.

It shouldn’t cost anything to remain anonymous.

CDanaT's avatarCDanaT

Quote: Originally posted by Bleudog101 on Jan 31, 2018

Honestly is this best they can do?  Ripoff potential winners.  What a crock.

I Agree!

Funny, I thought our publicly elected officials were there to represent us. While I don't reside in GA. nor do I vote for their leadership, this subject kind of sticks in my backside and makes me truly wonder why they don't want to provide protection for their voters who are winners ? If the winner goes on "facebook" or "Twitter" or other social/media sites and say "I won I won", then it is that persons right and choice to draw attention to themselves and their new fortune.

Most lottery players have heard of the tragedies of winners who were prayed upon and we all know about Abraham Shakespeare and his horrific and tragic ending. 

I did see one statement that someone on this site was worried about ISIS winning a jackpot was their support for non anonymity..... We all know the rules or have access to them of who can win and the taxes to be withheld .... I wont comment any further.

Anonymity should be allowed. Independent audits by professional agencies(like E&Y) can be conducted to assure that rules are followed. Your privacy and personal safety on a legally allowed activity, should be always be considered....  Trust but verify...... Just my 2 cents....

I wish each and every poster on this site much luck this year.

konane's avatarkonane

4% is high so maybe they'll arrive at a lower percentage, but hope it passes.  There are many companies whose sole focus is selling our personal information. We receive nothing in return except perhaps in some cases identity theft. 

As pointed out in Lottery Post's previous article there are real concerns for physical safety of winners based on past tragic events.

music*'s avatarmusic*

Each State is different. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Tinstafl. The costs will be paid by the winner and not taxpayers. 


lejardin's avatarlejardin

Anything for a buck, I agree what a CROCK.


How quickly they forget the recent home invasion/murder of the Columbus GA man who recently won a big Fantasy 5 jackpot, if he had the option to remain anonymous in his small town/neighborhood, maybe he'd still be alive and the perpretrators not gotten such light sentences!  That is insane!

dpoly1's avatardpoly1

One more Government rip off!

Cussing Face

MillionsWanted's avatarMillionsWanted

Quote: Originally posted by dpoly1 on Jan 31, 2018

One more Government rip off!

Cussing Face

Might be worth it if you live in the wrong part of town or know criminals. Or got greedy relatives. Wink


It's a catch 22. If you a lottery winner, and you love living in the State of Georgia & want anonymity, you going to have to cough up the 4%. If you not enamoured with Georgia, your only choice is to do what Anthony Bourdain does, head to " Parts Unknown." 


Some very good ideas on this thread on how to maintain anonymity but still provide some transparency. Too bad the people who are running the bill through aren't reading them.

I still don't get why they are trying to do this with the 4% price tag, because that virtually guarantees winners of larger amounts, say over 25 million, are never going to use the option. You can get a competent lawyer to set up LLC's, trusts, even do legal name changes, for a lot less than that.

Think's avatarThink

State lotteries are pretty much monopolies.

We need some competition to protect us from crappy lotteries.  It is time to legalize playing by phone, computer or mail other U.S. state lotteries from any state in the U.S.

Then the player can decide which games they want to play and where.

See how fast the bad games and bad policies disappear then!!

Think's avatarThink

Quote: Originally posted by music* on Jan 31, 2018

Each State is different. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Tinstafl. The costs will be paid by the winner and not taxpayers. 


HA! Good one.

In most states the winners pay taxes on their winnings!

If Georgia makes winners pay taxes on the winnings then they shouldn't double tax them to remain anonymous.

I don't know what the GA tax rate is but if it is 5% then the tax on a $10,000,000 win is $500,000 and that should easily be way more than enough

to simply not release the winners information.

Dee88's avatarDee88

      Who's to say after your pay that 4% tax that they still won't release your personal information... I would have to have something in writing stating that none of my personal information will not be leaked out to the media or anyone else..and they will be held liable for it if it does happen..Yes Nod

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