Legislation allows Montana lottery winners to remain anonymous

Apr 15, 2021, 11:42 am (7 comments)

Montana Lottery

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



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 avatarUnlucky-Kenny

Quote: Originally posted by Bleudog101 on Apr 15, 2021

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

CDanaT's avatarCDanaT

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


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

HoLeeKau's avatarHoLeeKau

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.


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


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

End of comments
Subscribe to this news story