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Legislation allows Montana lottery winners to remain anonymous

Apr 15, 2021, 11:42 am

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Montana LotteryMontana Lottery: Legislation allows Montana lottery winners to remain anonymousRating:

HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Lottery sent out its first news release Friday listing major lottery prizes won this week without including the names of the winners, following a new law allowing prize winners to remain anonymous.

The Legislature passed the bill last month and Gov. Greg Gianforte signed it into law on March 31.

While the legislation did not have an effective date, lottery spokesperson Jennifer McKee said they followed the spirit of the legislation in only releasing the towns were the major prizes were won, the amounts won, the game played and the name of the retailer that sold the ticket.

The legislation argued that the individual privacy rights of a lottery winner outweigh the public's right to know.

Republican Rep. Frank Garner of Kalispell said people who have won significant amounts of money have been preyed upon. The bill passed the House unanimously and passed the Senate 46-4.

The law overturns a long-standing administrative rule adopted by the lottery that said a winner's name is public information. The lottery can still release the names of winners in response to court orders and must still check the names of the winners of large prizes against the list of people who owe child support.

The Montana Lottery was approved by referendum in 1986 and the first tickets were sold in 1987. Since then, it has paid over $694 million in prizes and returned approximately $289 million to the state of Montana and $78 million in retailer commissions.

Montana's shift to anonymity for lottery winners follows a nationwide trend to enact privacy laws. Lottery Post maintains a comprehensive list of anonymity laws by state.

Lottery Post Staff

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7 comments. Last comment 26 days ago by ronki.
Page 1 of 1
United States
Member #163182
January 22, 2015
2533 Posts

Great news, it should be the person's option, not the lottery.   For me saying the ticket was purchased @ 7-11 such and such a city is enough for me.

    Unlucky-Kenny's avatar - Cigar B1.gif
    United States
    Member #202055
    November 7, 2019
    1979 Posts

    Great news, it should be the person's option, not the lottery.   For me saying the ticket was purchased @ 7-11 such and such a city is enough for me.

    I agree - glad another state could pass it - maybe mine will be next just in time for...Cool

    Ol' Kenny is going to win big just a loser

    Lottery Post Wisconsin Results

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      CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
      Central TN
      United States
      Member #121187
      January 4, 2012
      5149 Posts

      Montana is looking better and better all the time.      Patriot   Can't wait for my next trip up there, soon.

      Integrity: There is just no substitute.

        Chasing $ Millions.
        White Shores- California
        United States
        Member #136471
        December 12, 2012
        6577 Posts

        l think the day California goes along with Montana, l will win both MM & PB...in the same week!

         * Voice of Reason *   


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

          HoLeeKau's avatar - 40827 jpg?1576607320
          United States
          Member #94279
          July 17, 2010
          2359 Posts

          Yay!  Now Montana and Wyoming are both anon, and Oregon is working on legislation last I knew.  Hopefully Idaho is next. 

          I'm seriously considering making the trip to Wyoming as soon as I need to renew my regular numbers.  If enough of us cross the state line to buy tickets, maybe the impact on Idaho's wallet will get their butts in gear.

            HAMMY WAMMY's avatar - lib
            United States
            Member #169447
            October 18, 2015
            97 Posts

            Im headed to Montana in 3 weeks for a little week long getaway... i always play the lotto when im up there :) 

            Love that they now allow anonymous winners

              United States
              Member #37193
              April 12, 2006
              56 Posts

              North Carolina won't do that they want the publicity think it will sell more tickets it's a screwed up State anyway