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Georgia Gov. signs bill allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous

May 12, 2018, 8:47 am

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Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Georgia Gov. signs bill allowing lottery winners to remain anonymousRating:

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 3 years ago by adamc224.
Page 1 of 3
dpoly1's avatar - driver
PA
United States
Member #66139
October 16, 2008
1998 Posts
Offline

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!

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163182
    January 22, 2015
    2634 Posts
    Offline

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

      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

      United States
      Member #52343
      May 21, 2007
      3371 Posts
      Offline

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        100
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
        United States
        Member #30469
        January 17, 2006
        11581 Posts
        Offline

        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 - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157849
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts
          Offline

          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 

           "We are all in this together!" 

            CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
            Central TN
            United States
            Member #121187
            January 4, 2012
            5328 Posts
            Offline

            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 #118604
              November 4, 2011
              1440 Posts
              Offline

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

                konane's avatar - wallace
                Atlanta, GA
                United States
                Member #1265
                March 13, 2003
                6504 Posts
                Offline

                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 #188516
                  March 13, 2018
                  14 Posts
                  Offline

                  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 #153767
                    March 24, 2014
                    5162 Posts
                    Online

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

                    Anyone can beat my price,  no one can beat my value.

                    I don't sell the steak,  I sell the sizzle!

                    I set the market value on items

                      hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #52343
                      May 21, 2007
                      3371 Posts
                      Offline

                      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 - DiscoBallGlowing
                        USN United States Navy
                        Fresno, California
                        United States
                        Member #157849
                        August 2, 2014
                        3959 Posts
                        Offline

                        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 

                         "We are all in this together!" 

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

                          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

                           "We are all in this together!" 

                            Avatar
                            Northern Beaches
                            Australia
                            Member #187034
                            January 9, 2018
                            140 Posts
                            Offline

                            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!