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Growing number of states move to shield lottery winners

27 replies. Last post 1 day ago by mikeintexas.

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Northern Beaches
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Posted: April 15, 2019, 12:30 am - IP Logged

The UK National Lottery, which is the most successful lottery in the world, has demonstrated that giving winners the right to anonymity, doesn't affect lottery sales.

    dpoly1's avatar - driver
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    Posted: April 15, 2019, 1:09 pm - IP Logged

    The UK National Lottery, which is the most successful lottery in the world, has demonstrated that giving winners the right to anonymity, doesn't affect lottery sales.

    Great Info! Dance

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

     

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

      TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      A long and winding road
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      Posted: April 15, 2019, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

      Paranoia is the norm I see. 

      I support the choice for transparency...both of the claimant and the lottery provider.

      Accentuate the positive.

        cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT
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        Posted: April 15, 2019, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

        A state legislator should go with the desires of his/her constituents on this one. If the people in his/her district care more about anonymity than transparency, then he/she should vote in favor of anonymity when the issue comes up in a legislative session.

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
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          Posted: April 15, 2019, 5:39 pm - IP Logged

          One more time, just copy Australia.

          Put a box on the play slip under the letters NP, NO PUBLICITY. If the player marks that box they've already made their choice. 

          Simple solution, the player had made their choice for NO PUBLICITY, which I'm pretty sure guarantees the winner remains anonymous.

          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.

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            Posted: April 15, 2019, 8:13 pm - IP Logged

            Paranoia is the norm I see. 

            I support the choice for transparency...both of the claimant and the lottery provider.

            The U.S. lotteries are run by individual states and each state has their own public information laws. If we're taking about PB or MM jackpot winners, some states need to repeal part or all of their PI laws just so an occasion winner can remain anonymous. 

            I Agree! on total government and elected officials transparency, but the privacy of the individual winners should be respected. And for those wanting total anonymity, should it only apply to huge jackpot winners or to all lottery winners?

              mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
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              Posted: April 16, 2019, 11:43 am - IP Logged

              The UK National Lottery, which is the most successful lottery in the world, has demonstrated that giving winners the right to anonymity, doesn't affect lottery sales.

              Where do you get that "fact"?  When I Google "most successful lottery in the world" I get results for MegaMillions and Powerball, then several stories later an article that mentions El Gordo and on down the list I see an article about EuroMillions...but nothing about which one is the most successful. 

              When I Googled "UK lottery sales before and after anonymity" I got an article about Camelot setting a record for lottery sales, but it was about them surpassing their own previous sales mark, no comparisons against other country's lotteries and no before/after stats. 

              I have seen similar statements by many others here in L.P. but when I asked about the source of the information, they either ignored me or deflected and several times I was accused of being paranoid for thinking there needs to be transparency.  Like TheGameGirl said, the charge could go the other way.  From my own research, I have come to the conclusion that a lottery winner has much more to fear from their own family than they do total strangers, either for their own safety OR the "hassle quotient" (being bugged by "beggars", scam artists, etc.  Those people can be in your own family)  I do not see how a winner can keep their win secret from their family.  It's just my not-so-humble opinion, but anonymity is not the panacea everyone thinks it is. 

              Anyway....

              Since no one would give me any solid stats on the matter, I  tried to find that information on my own.   After a few hours, I found out that it was going to be HUGE chore getting all that data.  I would have to gather that sales information from all 44 states in the U.S. but ran into the first roadblock - that some states started out allowing anonymity, so there could be no before/after comparison.  At the time, I believe there were only five states allowing anonymous claiming, so it was going to be a very small sample size.    Still, I slogged on, trying to get those sales figures from all the states.   I was just about to throw up my hands and quit...then attempt to uncross my eyes ... when I ran across the sales figures for both N. and S. Dakota.

              N. Dakota is an anonymous claiming state and S. Dakota is not.  Now, two fairly small states do not a definitive conclusion make, but it looked like it might be the most pertinent piece of data I could come up with.  (Sorry, but I can't post the data I gathered.   I am sure I still have all those figures on a Notepad document but I do not know where it is.  I have two external hard drives full of files, but I unplugged them during a lightning storm and haven't yet plugged then back in, using two other, much larger drives I have to store files on and also use for back up purposes)

              The only "proof" - and not much at that for the sake of the argument, either way - is from an Jan. 18, 2018 article here in L.P.: North Dakota lottery sales plummet $8M in last fiscal year

              From the article:

              But analysis by Business Insider this week shows anemic lottery sales of just $34 per resident in the state, which is a full $10 per person less than the nearest low-performing state. The state's Southerly neighbor — South Dakota — pulls in an average of $172 per resident. Massachusetts has the nation's best performance, with lottery sales of $738 per resident.


              2018 Population figures

              N. Dakota 760,077

              S. Dakota 882,235

              Similar enough in size to not make much difference - at least to ME and my haphazard gathering of stats - but clouding even THAT bit of information is the oil boom that was going on at the time and is still going on to a lesser extent, due to lower oil/natural gas prices.  Both states were benefiting from the oil boom from the discoveries in the Bakken formation that spans both states - more in N. Dakota than S. Dakota, but perhaps the decrease in sales in N. Dakota was due to the exodus of roughnecks, drillers, roustabouts and other oil/gas service transient personnel who were once spending a lot of cash on the lottery but are now gone from the state?   (the same people who most likely were not counted in that 2018 population total)

              All I'm saying is that if you're going to make a declarative statement like that, you should accompany it with proof and as I've found out, sometimes that proof is hard to come by.

              This is to any U.S. resident, since I know Australia allows for anonymous claiming, along with players in the U.K.: I would recommend if you want your state to go to anonymous claiming, then don't whine about it in a forum such as this, but contact your local state representative via email, snail mail or by phone...preferably all three.   I have done exactly that and got results in three separate cases....OK, TWO cases for sure (I can't take credit for Texas lottery anonymity), but that's for another post.

              What, me worry?
              - Alfred E. Neuman

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                Posted: April 16, 2019, 12:59 pm - IP Logged

                Thank You mikeintexas,  As Sargeant Joe Friday would say, "Just the facts Ma'am." 

                 I agree with your evaluation of family and friends versus strangers.

                 A lot of past winners have been their own worst enemies. So many needed professional counseling in their personal lives, financial lives, legal lives, medical lives, etc.  Spend a few pennies of your fortune and stop listening to so called friends. 

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

                  mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
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                  Posted: April 16, 2019, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

                  A state legislator should go with the desires of his/her constituents on this one. If the people in his/her district care more about anonymity than transparency, then he/she should vote in favor of anonymity when the issue comes up in a legislative session.

                  Should, but won't always.  When I called my state legislator, a Republican (he did not respond to an email) and asked if he could put forth anonymity to a vote, he informed me that he was against the lottery on "moral grounds".  Oh-Kay.  But, he did say some of his colleagues had formed a committee to explore lottery anonymity and would pass along my thoughts on it to them.  I wanted to tell him he was supposed to represent ME, but didn't.  "Flies/honey" and all that, you know.

                  To his credit, he was true to his word and just a couple days later I got a phone call from a Democrat rep. down near Houston who confirmed that they were working on a bill for anonymity. We chatted for quite some time, surprising me because I was not his constituent nor had I ever sent him any money.   Long story short (hard for me to do, I know) within a yr. we had anonymity. 

                  Since they were already discussing the issue,  I wasn't the one to bring it to their attention, but I like to think I had some small credit in getting it passed.  I still believe in transparency, but if there's proper oversight, then that's good enough for me.  Besides, if I win the lottery, then I'll KNOW it's on the up-and-up and jackpots are being awarded, huh? <grin>

                  What, me worry?
                  - Alfred E. Neuman

                    mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
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                    Posted: April 16, 2019, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

                    Thank You mikeintexas,  As Sargeant Joe Friday would say, "Just the facts Ma'am." 

                     I agree with your evaluation of family and friends versus strangers.

                     A lot of past winners have been their own worst enemies. So many needed professional counseling in their personal lives, financial lives, legal lives, medical lives, etc.  Spend a few pennies of your fortune and stop listening to so called friends. 

                    N/P, music*.  I like to know the source of the "facts" that many people put out there.

                    And you're right about lottery winners being their own worst enemy.  In nearly every "tragic" lottery winner story, that's been the case. 

                    If it's a large enough JP, I think I would share with my family, making annual gifts to them, but I would tell them that the gifts would continue only as long as I was alive and after I died, my estate would go to charity....even if it wasn't and was in fact, going to them.  That's my "white lie life insurance", not that I think my family would off me for my money...but ya never know, right?   I think a huge amount of money would not only change you, but those around you.  I hope I get a chance to see if that's true or not.

                    What, me worry?
                    - Alfred E. Neuman

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                      Posted: April 17, 2019, 11:48 pm - IP Logged
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                        Posted: April 18, 2019, 2:37 pm - IP Logged

                        "I wanted to tell him he was supposed to represent ME"

                        Probably better to say that our elected officials should be acting in our best interests. Of course what our best interests are isn't always as clear as how much 2+2 is. Figuring that "moral grounds" probably really means religious beliefs I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and figure he honestly believes everyone would be better off without the lottery. Of course I'm sure that the JoHo's and Mormons who occasionally knock on my door believe I'd be better off if I accepted their version of reality instead of sending them on their way. In the case of your representative he should accept the reality that despite his objections the lottery exists, so he might as well manage it the way he thinks it should be managed. Even if he won't introduce a bill about it he's going to have to do something if somebody else's bill comes up for a vote, but maybe he'll just stick his head in the sand and abstain.

                        "surprising me because I was not his constituent"

                        Information is either accurate or inaccurate, and an opinion or idea is either good or bad regardless of where it comes from.  If the area he represents is upstream or upwind of you he might be okay with benefiting his constituents  by  supporting a project that will dump their pollution in your representative's area, but I don't see any reason that different areas would be affected differently by allowing or disallowing anonymity.

                        "Since they were already discussing the issue"

                        Perhaps that's exactly why he talked to you. Anonymity may be a popular topic around here, but only a small percentage of people contact their representatives about anything. If he heard from a dozen of his own constituents it's not a huge step to also talk to a couple of dozen other residents who have already expressed an opinion.

                        "not that I think my family would off me for my money"

                        I'm guessing that most of the people who got killed by people they knew didn't think it would happen, but money is a powerful motivator. I'd do the same as you, except that if I was able to claim anonymously I'd also tell all the people I gave an annual gift to that the gifts would stop if I was outed. Even if I'm 100% positive  who it was, the gifts stop for everyone. Even if I only found out that somebody told a friend but the friend kept their mouth shut. Spill the beans and the well goes dry. Maybe also not true, but I'd want to make sure everyone has a good reason to keep their mouths shut, and not even tell the kids how they can afford that nice trip to the Caribbean every year.

                          mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
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                          Posted: April 18, 2019, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

                          "I wanted to tell him he was supposed to represent ME"

                          Probably better to say that our elected officials should be acting in our best interests. Of course what our best interests are isn't always as clear as how much 2+2 is. Figuring that "moral grounds" probably really means religious beliefs I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and figure he honestly believes everyone would be better off without the lottery. Of course I'm sure that the JoHo's and Mormons who occasionally knock on my door believe I'd be better off if I accepted their version of reality instead of sending them on their way. In the case of your representative he should accept the reality that despite his objections the lottery exists, so he might as well manage it the way he thinks it should be managed. Even if he won't introduce a bill about it he's going to have to do something if somebody else's bill comes up for a vote, but maybe he'll just stick his head in the sand and abstain.

                          "surprising me because I was not his constituent"

                          Information is either accurate or inaccurate, and an opinion or idea is either good or bad regardless of where it comes from.  If the area he represents is upstream or upwind of you he might be okay with benefiting his constituents  by  supporting a project that will dump their pollution in your representative's area, but I don't see any reason that different areas would be affected differently by allowing or disallowing anonymity.

                          "Since they were already discussing the issue"

                          Perhaps that's exactly why he talked to you. Anonymity may be a popular topic around here, but only a small percentage of people contact their representatives about anything. If he heard from a dozen of his own constituents it's not a huge step to also talk to a couple of dozen other residents who have already expressed an opinion.

                          "not that I think my family would off me for my money"

                          I'm guessing that most of the people who got killed by people they knew didn't think it would happen, but money is a powerful motivator. I'd do the same as you, except that if I was able to claim anonymously I'd also tell all the people I gave an annual gift to that the gifts would stop if I was outed. Even if I'm 100% positive  who it was, the gifts stop for everyone. Even if I only found out that somebody told a friend but the friend kept their mouth shut. Spill the beans and the well goes dry. Maybe also not true, but I'd want to make sure everyone has a good reason to keep their mouths shut, and not even tell the kids how they can afford that nice trip to the Caribbean every year.

                          Well, he was a politician from another district, so he had nothing to gain by even contacting me. 

                          You know, I never even checked to see how my rep. voted, will have to go do that.  I didn't vote for him in 2016 and he'll likely never get my vote.(not just for the reason he gave me, but other issues)  At least he was aware it was being discussed. 

                          Actually, several weeks ago I had told an L.P. friend in an email that I would tell my family exactly that, if I was outed, then the gifts stopped for everyone.  Nearly all my great-nieces and nephews are grown, some with children of their own, so hopefully they're mature enough now so I won't have to deal with that.  I would also warn them that it would behoove them to keep their mouths shut, because even with the extremely rare chance they'd be kidnapped, the odds of them surviving are at best, 50-50.  With a family like mine, the kidnappers would probably be contacting me in a few short days offering to pay me to take them back. <wink>

                          I've contacted Austin a few times before;  once when Texas got concealed carry, wanted clarification about the signs in liquor stores saying "No Weapons Allowed On Premises". (if a weapon is concealed, as is mandated, no one would know they were carrying) Now they read "No UNLICENSED Weapons Allowed on Premises".  The TACB (alcohol control board) sent me the very first sign that went out.  Whoopee.

                          The other time was when I contacted the TX Lottery when I was charged a fee for the money order used to pay me for hitting 4 of 6 numbers on Lotto Texas.  It was only .49 cents but in this case, it really WAS the principle. (I spent several times that on phone calls)  Now the rules specifically state a winner cannot be charged a fee.

                          (BTW, I hit 4 of 6 twice within the first six weeks of the Texas Lottery.  I thought "Man, I might make a livin' at this."  Uh huh, right.)

                          I've urged people in here to contact their reps before if they wanted their state to offer anonymity - "the squeaky wheel gets the grease", right?  (not always, sometimes the wheel just gets replaced<grin>) 

                          I would think anonymity would be hard to achieve if the winner lived in a small town, even if everyone in your family stayed mum.  I'd think your neighbors would have a good suspicion once they saw the his 'n hers BMWs in the driveway and the new pool going in and you suddenly quit your job a short time after you won.

                          What, me worry?
                          - Alfred E. Neuman