Mega Thousands and thousands jackpot winner names can all the time be stored secret: NPR


The ticket that won the recent Mega Millions jackpot was worth $1.337 billion, but under Illinois law, the identity of the person who bought it may never be revealed. In most states, anonymity is not an option.

Steve Helber / AP


hide captions

switch captions

Steve Helber / AP


The ticket that won the recent Mega Millions jackpot was worth $1.337 billion, but under Illinois law, the identity of the person who bought it may never be revealed. In most states, anonymity is not an option.

Steve Helber / AP

Anyone who recently won the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot will never have to reveal their identity. Illinois Lottery says prize winners over $250,000 can claim their names and hometowns security.

That’s not the case in many states, but an increasing number of state legislators have sought to grant lottery winners anonymity and give them a sense of privacy and safety.

“It’s really been a small trend in the industry in the past, every four or five years, to look at anonymity – for the legislatures to step in and change the way the lottery works and come up with the terms. anonymously,” Gregg Edgar, executive director of the Arizona Lottery, told NPR.

In Arizona, lottery winners used to have only 90 days to remain anonymous before their information was made public. Now, the organization of website says “winners of $100,000 or more can choose to keep their names secret forever.”

Why do some states allow anonymity?

The North American State and Provincial Lottery Association, a non-profit trade association, says players cannot remain anonymous in most jurisdictions.

“State and provincial legislators want the public to know that the lottery is conducted in good faith and therefore require, as a minimum, the name of the winner and their city of residence.” website read. “This way, the public can rest assured that the prize has indeed been paid to a real person.”

Edgar said he has a fiduciary responsibility for Arizona’s budget to be transparent about how the organization earns and spends money.

“For many of us, we see it as – this is public funds, this is public [money]we need to make sure we’re transparent and people can see that there are winners going through,” he said. However, he added, transparency has to be balanced with protection of safety. All of the winners.

Edgar hopes that efforts to protect the anonymity of lottery winners will continue in other states across the country as the jackpot continues to grow.

States have their own public records laws

Vermont is among the majority of states that do not allow anonymity.

“While the Lottery regularly honors requests from winners not to post their personal information on social media, anyone can still request a copy or check the record. created by the Lottery or obtained in the course of her business in Vermont, Wendy Knight, the state’s commissioner of the lottery and liquor division, said in a statement to NPR.

“Any player concerned with the privacy and security issues involved in claiming a prize may wish to obtain professional services through an accountant, attorney, tax advisor and/or other consultants to evaluate and strategize about their available options and decide what works best for them,” added Knight.

Lawmakers who have pushed for the anonymity of lottery winners have cited privacy and safety concerns. Missouri’s 2021 law now makes it a crime to disclose lottery winners’ identities.

Law advocates want to protect winners from threats or harassment when others discover their prize, according to an earlier report from Related press.

For anonymous information where you live, check your state’s lottery website.

Leave a Comment