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List of States Which Allow Anonymous Winners

Topic closed. 49 replies. Last post 9 years ago by river1.

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lottocalgal's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
CA
United States
Member #57222
December 23, 2007
587 Posts
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Posted: March 4, 2008, 10:15 pm - IP Logged

I haven't seen such a list and I'm wondering if one has been compiled.

I also wonder if you can go by what's in the FAQ on each website.

I started checking a few states and here's what I found so far.  Please feel free to add states if you wish.

AZ - No (website FAQ)

CO - No (email from CO lottery commission - they did add you can set up a trust to claim)

DC - No (website FAQ)

DE - Yes (website FAQ) 

MT - No (website FAQ)

OK - No (website FAQ)

Hey LL
Its closed right now, but I will call ASAP tommorow. Will post whatever they tell me.

    lottocalgal's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
    CA
    United States
    Member #57222
    December 23, 2007
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    Posted: March 5, 2008, 11:31 am - IP Logged

    Hey Lucky Lilly,

    As promised I called the lottery headquaters this morning.  I spoke with a rep who confirmed it with her superviser.  YES you can claim your prize anonymously.  All they are required to give is the name of the city and the amount.  NOT only that,  you can also claim it as a corporation or a trust if you like.

    And for the  CA folks who are currently playing  the California Millionaire scratcher.  The $1 million amount  is in a lump sum.  It is not  a $50,000 annual annuity.Dance

      LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

      United States
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      Posted: March 5, 2008, 12:47 pm - IP Logged

      Wow, that's great lottocalgal!  If I ever decide to travel for MegaMillions, that will be the deciding factor whether I go to Washington or CA as they're about equidistant from me.  Is equidistant a word?  Anyway, I'll definitely choose CA knowing you can be anon.

        LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

        United States
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        February 26, 2007
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        Posted: March 5, 2008, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

        New Mexico - No - and no trust (lottery commission emails)

        Dear Lilly,

        The New Mexico Lottery is a quasi-governmental agency and falls under the Inspection of Public Records Act.  The law requires public access to virtually all public records including a winner's  name, the name and location of the retailer that sold the winning ticket, the date the prize was won and the amount of the prize.  While there are a few legitimate exceptions, most public records are available for public inspection.

        Winning lottery prizes  is an exciting experience for the winners and the public at large, and the New Mexico Lottery exercises several methods for promoting winner awareness.

        Top-tier winners ($10,000+) are automatically published on our website.  The Winners page on our website includes:  winner name, hometown, game name and prize amount. Occasionally, we post a winner’s story and photo as well.  The Lottery does NOT release the addresses or phone numbers of winners.

        Additionally, during our evening Lottery Draw Show televised during KOB-TV’s 10 p.m. newscast, we congratulate our large prize winners during this short time frame.

        Jackpot winners are of particular interest to the public and the media will seek them out.  To help jackpot winners handle media inquiries quickly and efficiently, we recommend that they participate in a short press conference.  Otherwise, the jackpot winner be dealing with ongoing individual media requests for interviews.

        In New Mexico, the revenue from Lottery ticket sales funds the Lottery Success Scholarship program.  Publicity of big winners commonly spurs ticket sales and therefore, increases revenue going to the popular scholarship program.

        We hope this information is helpful.  Thank you for your interest in the New Mexico Lottery.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

        Sincerely, 

        New Mexico Lottery

        To which I replied:
        Thank you so much for your helpful and thorough reply.  One last question.  Can a winner for a trust to claim a prize?  In that case would only the trust name be released as public information?  Thanks for your patience with my questions.  ;-)
        Dear Lilly,
        Before paying out any lottery prize over the amount of $600, the New Mexico Lottery Act requires the lottery to check the name of the winner or winners against a list of names and social security numbers of persons owing a debt to or collected by the state's human services department.  Typically this debt is child support.  If there is an amount owed, the Lottery is required to deduct that amount from the lottery prize and deliver it to the state.
        If a trust were to claim a prize, the Lottery would not be able to comply with this legal requirement since we would not have a name or social security number of the prize winners.
        We hope this information is helpful.
        Sincerely,
        New Mexico Lottery 
          ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
          Idaho
          United States
          Member #56506
          November 21, 2007
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          Posted: March 5, 2008, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

          You're doing a great job Lilly! Thumbs Up

          "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

            LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

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            Posted: March 5, 2008, 2:36 pm - IP Logged

            Iowa - No - Trust is allowed but no anon trust (lottery commission emails)

            Thanks for contacting us. 
            Iowa state law dictates that lottery officials cannot keep winner information secret. Winners do not have to appear before the press or even show up in person to get their check. Our claim form indicates that the player gives permission for their name to be used when they sign. To see a copy of the claim form, click here: http://www.ialottery.com/AboutUs/claimform.pdf 
            Iowa lawmakers want the public to know that the lottery is honestly run. This way, the public can be assured that the prizes are being paid to a real person. We recommend that all jackpot winners contact an attorney and/or financial adviser prior to claiming their prize. Those professionals can address any privacy concerns a player may have.
            Thank you for playing and good luck!
            To which I replied:
            Thank you for your quick response.  One more question, does Iowa allow a player claim a prize through a trust and have only the name of the trust made public information?   Thank you again.
            Iowa does allow players to claim jackpot prizes through a trust.  However, even with a trust, an address and phone number will still be required on the Winner Claim Form.  And the name, address and phone number on the Winner Claim Form is considered public information in Iowa.
            Should you win a jackpot prize, we would encourage you to consult with a lawyer or tax/financial adviser on these issues.
            Note:  I tried 4 times to put spaces between those paragraphs above.  I even tried hitting enter 3 times between each but when I post it scrunches up again.
              rubberbandman's avatar - Spawn Classic.jpg
              mn
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              Posted: March 6, 2008, 11:00 am - IP Logged

              ill still try to upload all the states

                Bondi Junction
                Australia
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                Posted: March 6, 2008, 11:56 pm - IP Logged

                This is the response I got from the UK Lottery.

                Thank you for contacting the Interactive Customer Care Team.

                All Lottery winners have the right to remain anonymous, we cannot organize any publicity or give any information to the press unless the winner has signed a form giving us permission to do so. We hope the clarifies things for you.

                If you have any further enquiries or feedback to provide please contact us again. 

                 

                Kind regards

                Interactive Customer Care Team

                National Lottery

                  Bondi Junction
                  Australia
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                  Posted: March 6, 2008, 11:59 pm - IP Logged

                  This is the response I got from the Queensland State Lottery.

                   

                  "Lottery winners do have the right to remain anonymous under the 'Not for
                  publication' option on their winners circle card. This would also be
                  reiterated upon the lottery contacting the customer to inform them of
                  the win."
                   
                   

                    Bondi Junction
                    Australia
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                    Posted: March 7, 2008, 12:01 am - IP Logged

                    This is the response I got from the South Australian State Lottery.

                     

                    I advise that it is not the practice of SA Lotteries to release any information which may identify winners.  The only exception being in instances where the winner has consented in writing to the publication of their personal details for publicity purposes.  Although publicity is important to our business, our winners and their wishes for privacy come first. 

                    As you can appreciate, most local players like to hear the good news that a Division One prize has been won by a South Australian.  SA Lotteries’ general media releases, as well as the official results, only advise the suburb and/or the agent from which a Division one ticket was purchased, unless the lucky winner authorises other details of their win to be released.

                    In accordance with the Australian Lotteries Industry Code of Practice, both lotteries operators and retailers must respect the customer’s requests for anonymity and SA Lotteries makes every effort to ensure this commitment is maintained.

                    As such, any record of winners is securely maintained to ensure privacy is assured and information contained within those records, where available, is not able to be released to the public.

                    JOHN TALARICO
                    Customer Relations Officer ½ SA Lotteries

                      Bondi Junction
                      Australia
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                      Posted: March 7, 2008, 12:05 am - IP Logged

                      This is the response I got from the New Zealand Lottery.

                       

                      Winner details are anonymous and the public do not have access to this information.
                       
                       
                      Kind regards,
                       
                      Roz Sheerin
                      Communications Coordinator
                      NZ Lotteries
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                        Fayetteville, Arkansas
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                        Posted: March 7, 2008, 10:44 am - IP Logged

                        I am surprised to read, in many of the answers, that people have contacted state lottery commissions to learn what sort of trust, if any, may claim a prize.

                        This is essentially a legal question, and lottery commissions are not licensed to practice law.

                        If the question is unsettled in your jurisdiction, and if you ask a lottery commission whether or not you may claim through a trust, you may well get someone's guess of what the law is (an unqualified opinion) or what someone wishes the law were (a self-serving dictum), rather than a qualified response.

                        The response of the New Mexico lottery commission to Lilly's question (posted March 5 at 12:54 pm) is a case in point. In response to her question, "Can a winner [use] a trust to claim a prize?" The commission gave an unqualified and self-serving response:

                        A. The law requires the Commission to check the winner's name against a list.

                        B. If a trust claimed a prize, the Commission would not be able to do this.

                        So what? If the Commission has obligations, it isn't the trust's responsibilty to fulfill them. If the Commission is unable to identify the trust beneficiary, that's its problem. And, anyway, isn't the trust the winner? So, by giving the name and city of the trust, the Commission is able to fulfill its legal obligations. The intent of the law is of secondary importance; there are plenty of poorly-drafted laws. If our obligations were defined by what laws were supposed to say, rather than what they do say, we'd all have to be lawyers (and darn good ones, too).

                        In my opinion, anyone holding a winning ticket worth a substantial amount of money, such that anonymity is advisable, should consult an attorney of some repute who specializes in estate planning. You may have to fight the lottery commission, or the state itself; but in my opinion it's worth it. This is how rights are protected; this is how law works in the US. You don't just sit back and take the word of Joe Blow down at the bar, your best friend, your doctor, your wife, or the person you talked to at the Lottery Commission -- even if the person you talked to was an attorney for the Commission, which is your adversary in this situation, not your friend. No, you get a lawyer and you fight like hell for your rights. Big companies, landlords, etc., trample on little guys ALL THE TIME, because they are convinced that little guys don't have the stomach or the resources to fight; and most of the time they're right. You have a lot to protect in your anonymity as a multi-million-dollar winner. It's not just the freeloaders and deadbeats you have to worry about. The Mexican Mafia is crossing the border, kidnapping rich people in the US, taking them back to Mexico, torturing them and holding them for ransom.

                        So fight. You may set the precedent in your state. And your anonymity, as a winner, is without price.

                        The balls have no memory.

                          rubberbandman's avatar - Spawn Classic.jpg
                          mn
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                          Posted: March 7, 2008, 10:57 am - IP Logged

                          EXACTLY Frazier,

                           

                          perfectly explaned

                            LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

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                            Posted: March 7, 2008, 11:13 am - IP Logged

                            "The response of the New Mexico lottery commission to Lilly's question (posted March 5 at 12:54 pm) is a case in point. In response to her question, "Can a winner [use] a trust to claim a prize?" The commission gave an unqualified and self-serving response:

                            A. The law requires the Commission to check the winner's name against a list.

                            B. If a trust claimed a prize, the Commission would not be able to do this.

                            So what? If the Commission has obligations, it isn't the trust's responsibilty to fulfill them. If the Commission is unable to identify the trust beneficiary, that's its problem. And, anyway, isn't the trust the winner? So, by giving the name and city of the trust, the Commission is able to fulfill its legal obligations. The intent of the law is of secondary importance; there are plenty of poorly-drafted laws. If our obligations were defined by what laws were supposed to say, rather than what they do say, we'd all have to be lawyers (and darn good ones, too)."

                            Thanks for posting Mike Frazier.  I've been a bit surprised that there hasn't been more uproar or at least more discussion about this.  Maybe everyone else here already knew that some states won't even consider trusts.

                            The New Mexico reasoning of not being able to check the winner's name against monies owed is weak.  Indiana requires that a real person give their name and SSN to the lottery commission for that very reason.  BUT Indiana does not consider that to be public information, and will only provide the name of the trust for all PRA requests.   I consider that a reasonable solution.  I do like the fact that they're checking to see if winners owe child support or other money to the state.

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                              Fayetteville, Arkansas
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                              Posted: March 7, 2008, 11:24 am - IP Logged

                              The New Mexico reasoning of not being able to check the winner's name against monies owed is weak.  Indiana requires that a real person give their name and SSN to the lottery commission for that very reason.

                              Lilly,

                              I'm kind of new around here, but, if I were an Indiana winner, I'd want to know who said that a trust can't claim a prize, and whether or not the rule has been challenged. Corporations are considered "real persons" under the law; perhaps trusts are, too. Anyway, I wouldn't accept such a rule on its face, much less the say-so of a lottery commissionaire.

                              The balls have no memory.