Arizona Latest State to Allow Anonymity Rights to Lottery Winners

Arizona Latest State to Allow Anonymity Rights to Lottery Winners

Arizona has become the latest state to grant anonymity to lottery winners, following an upwelling of concern countrywide for lottery winners’ safety and privacy. On Wednesday April 17th, Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed a proposal allowing lottery winners of over $100,000 to remain anonymous indefinitely.

Under current Arizona law, lottery winners can keep their name and address private for 90 days, after which they can be supplied to anybody who files a request to view them. State Representative Nancy Barto was responsible for introducing the new measure, citing harassment concerns.

The move comes after an increase in support for the protection of lottery winners; several high-profile cases in recent years, wherein lottery winners have been targeted, harassed, and in some cases injured or killed in relation to their jackpot win. Patrick Ptak, a spokesperson for Gov. Ducey commented of the move: “Winning the lottery shouldn't come at the expense of someone's privacy or safety.”

12th State to Allow Lottery Winners Anonymity

Arizona joins 11 other states in allowing lottery winners to shield their identities from the public. Virginia became the 11th state to allow lottery winners anonymity in April, and will allow lottery players who have won $10 million or more to keep their identities from the public as of July 1st 2019.

Arizona and Virginia were two of eight states to consider new anonymity laws so far this year – but not all of them were sold on the proposal. New Mexico was one such state, with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisholm rejecting a prospective lottery winner anonymity measure on grounds of transparency. Her spokesman, Tripp Stelnicki, maintained that Grisholm was sympathetic to the case for anonymity, but that “New Mexicans should have every confidence in the games run by the lottery.”

Winner Secrecy Could Harm Lotteries

The counter-argument against lottery anonymity has been publically fuelled by the 2015 sentencing of Eddie Tipton, a Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) employee who rigged several MUSL lotteries between 2005 and 2010. Some lawmakers fear that allowing winner secrecy could encourage fraudulent behaviour, or discourage members of the public from trusting the lotteries they enter.

Though the Arizona Lottery remained non-partisan while the new anonymity law was being proposed, the adoption of the proposal could have ramifications for its marketing efforts; photo shoots and press conferences with lottery winners are a key part of most lotteries’ public campaigns, and could well affect ticket sales.

New State Lottery

Alongside news of changes to current lotteries, there could be a new state lottery by late 2019. The State of Mississippi narrowly voted for the creation of a Mississippi Lottery in August 2018, and have recently enacted the setting of rules for ethics by a new governing board. A potential Department of Justice re-interpretation of the Wire Act could stymie plans for the new lottery, as lotteries across the country could be ruled illegitimate. The 1963 Act was designed to stop inter-state sports betting and gambling via analog electronic means – but a strict interpretation of the Act in today’s America could spell the end for multi-state lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions, and even slot machines in casinos.

Learn more about which states currently support anonymity for winners, or find out what the best course of action would be in your state.

Page Last Updated: 18/04/2019 13:03:15