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Growing number of states move to shield lottery winners

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PHOENIX, Az. — A growing number of states are moving to allow the winners of big lottery jackpots to stay anonymous as privacy concerns are increasingly trumping lottery groups' wishes to publicize winners to boost sales and show that the games are fair.

Arizona could be the next state to join at least nine others with laws that let winners keep their names secret under a proposal headed to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Four years ago, just five states allowed anonymous winners, and a handful of others allowed trusts to claim prizes.

At least eight state legislatures considered measures shielding winners' names this year. Virginia's governor signed legislation allowing winners of $10 million or more to remain anonymous. Proposals in Arkansas and Connecticut failed, while efforts in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oregon are still being considered.

New Mexico's governor last week axed a similar proposal, with a spokesman saying Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham decided to prioritize transparency.

"To be sure, the governor is clear about the concerns raised by proponents, i.e., that certain bad actors could take advantage of lottery winners if their names are made public," spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said in a statement. But "New Mexicans should have every confidence in the games run by the lottery."

Arizona's governor hasn't weighed in on the proposal before him.

The Arizona Lottery took no official position, but spokesman John Gilliland said "it is important that we have that transparency, because the lottery is nothing without integrity."

"And the only way the public has an absolute guarantee of integrity as far as real people winning these prizes is to be able to know who wins these prizes," he said this week.

Republican state Rep. Nancy Barto introduced the measure, saying she wanted to protect winners from harassment. State Rep. John Kavanagh pushed for current law that shields winners' names for 90 days but said this week that it doesn't go far enough.

"After 90 days, the person is then subjected to all sorts of people hitting them up for loans, investment advisers trying to make them a client and the potential to be victimized by a burglar or, if it's a massive amount, having their kid kidnapped," the Republican said.

Balancing those concerns against the Lottery's interests in transparency isn't a close call, he said.

That's in line with a New Hampshire judge's decision last year to allow the winner of a nearly $560 million Powerball jackpot to stay anonymous. The woman signed the ticket before she realized that state law would let her create a trust to shield her identity. The judge noted that she could be harassed or solicited for money.

Trusts are allowed in at least two other states besides New Hampshire, while a policy from South Carolina's lottery board allows anonymity. The winner of a $1.5 billion ticket bought at a South Carolina convenience store last year remains unknown under that policy.

Lottery fraud is a concern. In 2017, a programmer for the Multi-State Lottery Association got up to 25 years in prison for rigging a computer program to enable him to pick winning numbers in games in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma between 2005 and 2011.

The executive director of the Iowa-based lottery association, which runs the Powerball game in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said he understands why some states are moving toward winner secrecy.

"However, the disclosure of winner names is one way lotteries are working to keep the process transparent," association Executive Director J. Bret Toyne said. "It shows the public that everyday people are randomly winning the prizes."

AP

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32 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by Unluckyone.
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Simpsonville
United States
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January 22, 2015
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Posted: April 14, 2019, 8:46 am - IP Logged

Slowly but surely the rights of lottery winners may overtake the need for what the states call transparency.

Any noted corruption in anonymous states?  None that comes to mind.

    TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    Member #169719
    October 29, 2015
    1410 Posts
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    Posted: April 14, 2019, 9:01 am - IP Logged

    Some people want the fame that goes with the fortune and other people don't.

    They need to have the right to choose.

    There have always been those that have tried to scam people out of their rightful belongings, but in today's society, there are a lot more of them. It's not just about transparency for the state lotteries, but the safety of the winners.

    The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

    “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

    Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

      dpoly1's avatar - driver
      PA
      United States
      Member #66139
      October 16, 2008
      1929 Posts
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      Posted: April 14, 2019, 9:33 am - IP Logged

      As it should be!

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

       

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

        Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
        100
        Zeta Reticuli Star System
        United States
        Member #30469
        January 17, 2006
        11367 Posts
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        Posted: April 14, 2019, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

        From the OP;

        The Arizona Lottery took no official position, but spokesman John Gilliland said "it is important that we have that transparency, because the lottery is nothing without integrity."

        So he's saying that states that do allow lottery winners to remain anonymous lotteries are 'nothing and have no integrity'.

        Bang Head

        What a Clown

        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.

          hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

          United States
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          May 21, 2007
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          Posted: April 14, 2019, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

          Cheerss to progress & change

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Chasing the Dream.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136473
            December 12, 2012
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            Posted: April 14, 2019, 1:27 pm - IP Logged

            From the OP;

            The Arizona Lottery took no official position, but spokesman John Gilliland said "it is important that we have that transparency, because the lottery is nothing without integrity."

            So he's saying that states that do allow lottery winners to remain anonymous lotteries are 'nothing and have no integrity'.

            Bang Head

            What a Clown

            Yes Coin Toss, that is exactly what he is saying, but if asked " why are other State lotteries allowing it then?" He's response would be " Well, l cannot speak for other States, but here in Arizona...." The California lottery has never had any of their reps or a State politician go on TV  talking about transparency, what they will do is tell you to read the lottery handbook. When was the 1st or last time you read or heard of any State lottery doing a survey, asking the players whether they were for " anonymity or not?" They too afraid of the results, and they know why.

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

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

              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
              100
              Zeta Reticuli Star System
              United States
              Member #30469
              January 17, 2006
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              Posted: April 14, 2019, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

              Darn good point about them knowing why, noise-gate.

              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.

                Avatar
                Kentucky
                United States
                Member #32651
                February 14, 2006
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                Posted: April 14, 2019, 3:11 pm - IP Logged

                If the states just give anonymity to PB and MM jackpot winners and because of the low number of yearly winners, it wouldn't effect some states very often. Might be a problem determining what dollar amount allows players to claim anonymously too. Because taxes are deducted from winnings over $25,000, that might be a good starting place. Another problem with not granting all lottery winners anonymity, without any large jackpot winners to write and talk about, the press might go after $5000 winners. 

                Someone asked if there was fraud problems in anonymous states, but without any publicity, how would anybody but those committing the fraud know?

                  brees2012's avatar - animal whale.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #125173
                  March 26, 2012
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                  Posted: April 14, 2019, 3:18 pm - IP Logged

                  I heard , my state wanting to go Anonymous , but I don't know anymore than that .

                  I wished it did !!!!   All States needs to be Anonymous , that's playing Powerball & Mega Millions . 

                  Of Course , Lottery Officials will know the name of Winners , it won't be a secret ,

                  except for the public .  "Winner" and What State ( he / she ) lives in .

                  Instead of being in the news. 

                  Ready To Win ....Mega Millions  & Powerball Lottery !!! 

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163184
                    January 22, 2015
                    1900 Posts
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                    Posted: April 14, 2019, 3:36 pm - IP Logged

                    If the states just give anonymity to PB and MM jackpot winners and because of the low number of yearly winners, it wouldn't effect some states very often. Might be a problem determining what dollar amount allows players to claim anonymously too. Because taxes are deducted from winnings over $25,000, that might be a good starting place. Another problem with not granting all lottery winners anonymity, without any large jackpot winners to write and talk about, the press might go after $5000 winners. 

                    Someone asked if there was fraud problems in anonymous states, but without any publicity, how would anybody but those committing the fraud know?

                    Taxes (Federal) are withheld after $1199.00.

                      sweetie7398's avatar - flower2
                      100
                      South Carolina
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                      Posted: April 14, 2019, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

                      Winners should have the right to choose.

                      Life, love, family Love

                        music*'s avatar - Trek HAND1.gif
                        Fresno, California
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                        Member #157851
                        August 2, 2014
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                        Posted: April 14, 2019, 6:28 pm - IP Logged

                        Some States allow winners of huge jackpots in MM & PB to decline the invitation to be interviewed.

                         California has done this.

                         This debate will take the wisdom of Solomon to decide which way to proceed. Patriot

                         Looking overseas the lotteries there have granted winners the right to say NO to being interviewed by the media. So far so good. 

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

                          grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                          I Am Going to Win Today.
                          bel air maryland
                          United States
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                          April 24, 2010
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                          Posted: April 14, 2019, 6:32 pm - IP Logged

                          Winners should have the right to choose.

                          I Agree!     100%

                          "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                          The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                          Every lottery system can be improved. If you're not winning almost every day, yours can be made better.

                            sully16's avatar - sharan
                            25
                            Ringleader
                            Michigan
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                            October 28, 2009
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                            Posted: April 14, 2019, 9:18 pm - IP Logged

                            Winners should have the right to choose.

                            I Agree!

                            Lovies