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Georgia Gov. signs bill allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous

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Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Georgia Gov. signs bill allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous
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By Todd Northrop

Georgia has joined a small but growing number of states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

On Monday Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed a bill allowing lottery winners with prizes over $250,000 to keep their identity secret upon request.

Prior to this point, Georgia state law required disclosure of big lottery winners' names and hometown be disclosed if requested under the state's Open Records Act, but did not require them to take photographs with oversized checks — although they could do it voluntarily.

The new measure signed Monday eliminates all disclosure requirements, allowing prize winners to decide if their names should remain a state secret.

Sen. Steve Henson (D-Stone Mountain), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, says some winners have been targeted by criminals after their names became public.

"Whatever concerns some may have about transparency, they're overridden by the fact that we're protecting people who are winners from being the victims of crime, and in the long run I think this will be a better way to do it," Henson said.

First Amendment advocates say the move and its lack of transparency creates the potential for corruption in the future.

Georgia joins Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas as states that allow winners to remain anonymous. Arizona has a limited shield law that shields lottery winners' identities for 90 days after they claim their prizes.

A growing number of other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, will award prizes to a trust and allow a trustee — usually an attorney — to collect without disclosing the name of the ticket holder.

Each state has specific rules about whether or not big winners will be required to participate in a press conference, have their photo taken (with or without covering their face or wearing a disguise), and request minimal personal information disclosure.

Since the rules for lottery winner anonymity are rapidly changing throughout the country, players looking for specific information about winning in their state should contact their state lottery directly for the latest information.

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36 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by adamc224.
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dpoly1's avatar - driver
PA
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Member #66139
October 16, 2008
1914 Posts
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Posted: May 12, 2018, 9:26 am - IP Logged

As it should be!

Big Grin

dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

 

Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

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    Simpsonville
    United States
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    January 22, 2015
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    Posted: May 12, 2018, 9:27 am - IP Logged

    Congratulations Georgia and a Governor that cares enough of his constituents to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

      hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

      United States
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      Posted: May 12, 2018, 10:41 am - IP Logged

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        100
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
        United States
        Member #30469
        January 17, 2006
        11293 Posts
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        Posted: May 12, 2018, 10:54 am - IP Logged

        Good for Georgia, hope other states follow.

        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.

          music*'s avatar - Trek HAND1.gif
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157851
          August 2, 2014
          3362 Posts
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          Posted: May 12, 2018, 11:07 am - IP Logged

          Party I agree with Georgia. I was thinking, "Would any millionaire want to do a press conference if they did not have to?"

           Stone Mountain, Georgia is where a major lottery winner lived. The winners lived there and in San Jose, CA. 

           Isn't Georgia the State where criminals shot a winner and killed him in front of his kids? The criminals were caught and are now in prison. The thin blue line and the State Justice Department working together. 

          Excellent work by Governor Nathan Deal and Senator Steve Henson (D-Stone Mountain) plus the rest of the Legislature. 

          US Flag 

            " Live Long and Prosper" Spock on Star Trek. A Vulcan.

            CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
            Central TN
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            Member #121189
            January 4, 2012
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            Posted: May 12, 2018, 11:23 am - IP Logged

            Congrats GA, welcome to the club of the very few !!!! Perhaps others will follow your lead in the near future  Thumbs Up

            Integrity: There is just no substitute

              lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

              United States
              Member #118605
              November 4, 2011
              1389 Posts
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              Posted: May 12, 2018, 11:42 am - IP Logged

              One by one, hope it continues to all playing states.

                konane's avatar - wallace
                Atlanta, GA
                United States
                Member #1265
                March 13, 2003
                4974 Posts
                Online
                Posted: May 12, 2018, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                As it should be!

                Big Grin

                Great article Todd!  I'm very happy to see that law enacted for the benefit and safety of large winners.  Party PartyPartyPartyPartyPartyPartyPartyPartyPartyParty

                Have fun and the best of luck to everyone! Sun Smiley

                  Avatar
                  New Member
                  Lawrence, KS
                  United States
                  Member #188519
                  March 13, 2018
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                  Posted: May 12, 2018, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

                  I understand everyone wanting to remain anonymous, I would and can because of where I live but I also can see more cheating in the future as this spreads.

                    wander73's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #153769
                    March 24, 2014
                    3802 Posts
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                    Posted: May 12, 2018, 1:46 pm - IP Logged

                    Absolutely, however,  anonymous winners need to do other things accordingly.  Delete all their social media, follow up with the accountant, financial planner, lawyer.

                      hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

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                      May 21, 2007
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                      Posted: May 12, 2018, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                      Absolutely, however,  anonymous winners need to do other things accordingly.  Delete all their social media, follow up with the accountant, financial planner, lawyer.

                      HENCE WHY I PUT UP THESE RULES UP A BIT AGO

                        music*'s avatar - Trek HAND1.gif
                        Fresno, California
                        United States
                        Member #157851
                        August 2, 2014
                        3362 Posts
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                        Posted: May 12, 2018, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

                        Absolutely, however,  anonymous winners need to do other things accordingly.  Delete all their social media, follow up with the accountant, financial planner, lawyer.

                        I Agree! Here in California, all future winners should decline the photo and the media event. Then the Legislature will get the message. Plus the new Governor in November. 

                         Coffee 

                          " Live Long and Prosper" Spock on Star Trek. A Vulcan.

                          music*'s avatar - Trek HAND1.gif
                          Fresno, California
                          United States
                          Member #157851
                          August 2, 2014
                          3362 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: May 12, 2018, 3:29 pm - IP Logged

                          Do you understand the pull of cashing in the ticket the next business day? Like gravitational pull.  That small piece of paper could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 

                           Most likely I will move that winning ticket to the District Lottery Office from my residence soon after the draw. 

                           I will notify my family members before I claim my prize. 

                          Hyper

                            " Live Long and Prosper" Spock on Star Trek. A Vulcan.

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                            Northern Beaches
                            Australia
                            Member #187037
                            January 9, 2018
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                            Posted: May 12, 2018, 5:19 pm - IP Logged

                            By Todd Northrop

                            Georgia has joined a small but growing number of states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

                            On Monday Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed a bill allowing lottery winners with prizes over $250,000 to keep their identity secret upon request.

                            Prior to this point, Georgia state law required disclosure of big lottery winners' names and hometown be disclosed if requested under the state's Open Records Act, but did not require them to take photographs with oversized checks — although they could do it voluntarily.

                            The new measure signed Monday eliminates all disclosure requirements, allowing prize winners to decide if their names should remain a state secret.

                            Sen. Steve Henson (D-Stone Mountain), who sponsored the bill in the Senate, says some winners have been targeted by criminals after their names became public.

                            "Whatever concerns some may have about transparency, they're overridden by the fact that we're protecting people who are winners from being the victims of crime, and in the long run I think this will be a better way to do it," Henson said.

                            First Amendment advocates say the move and its lack of transparency creates the potential for corruption in the future.

                            Georgia joins Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas as states that allow winners to remain anonymous. Arizona has a limited shield law that shields lottery winners' identities for 90 days after they claim their prizes.

                            A growing number of other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, will award prizes to a trust and allow a trustee — usually an attorney — to collect without disclosing the name of the ticket holder.

                            Each state has specific rules about whether or not big winners will be required to participate in a press conference, have their photo taken (with or without covering their face or wearing a disguise), and request minimal personal information disclosure.

                            Since the rules for lottery winner anonymity are rapidly changing throughout the country, players looking for specific information about winning in their state should contact their state lottery directly for the latest information.

                            That sounds like a good deal to me!