New Jersey Winners Can Now Stay Anonymous
New Jersey has become the latest state to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. The new law takes effect immediately after a bill passed earlier this month was signed by Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday.
The New Jersey Lottery has previously been compelled by law to reveal the names of winners if there is a request for information, as it is deemed to be of public interest. If you claimed a big Powerball prize, it would therefore become public knowledge even if you would prefer to keep it a secret.
Former Governor Chris Christie had resisted proposals for anonymity during his tenure and argued that it could ‘undermine the transparency that provides taxpayers confidence in the integrity of the lottery and its games’.
However, a new bill - S2267 - cleared the Senate and Assembly without a single vote against it. State Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who sponsored the bill, said: “If that person wants that spotlight they can elect to have it, but if a person wants their privacy they should be entitled to it.”
More States Allowing Anonymity
The decision by New Jersey lawmakers continues a growing trend for states allowing their winners to have more of a say over anonymity. Arizona, Virginia and West Virginia all brought in legislation in 2019 to allow winners to keep their identities private, while players in Mississippi will not have to go public when they claim prizes once Powerball tickets go on sale later in January.
Traditionally, players in most jurisdictions had to go public as state lotteries felt that it would attract more players. By seeing that big prizes were won by real people, players would trust the lottery and want to buy tickets.
More and more states are now siding with the view that players should be allowed to stay private. Back in 2018, a winner from New Hampshire successfully went to court to argue that going public would put her safety at risk, with the judge declaring that it was an ‘easy decision’ to let her keep her anonymity despite the state ‘Right To Know’ law.
Go to the Publicity page for a full list of all the states that allow anonymity, along with any conditions that may apply.
Previous New Jersey Winners
Winners can still elect to go public in any states which allow anonymity, and it may not be too long before the next big winner from New Jersey gets to make that decision. The Garden State has had eight jackpot winners since joining Powerball in 2010 - putting it comfortably in the top half of the most successful states.
The record for the biggest win ever in New Jersey came back in May 2016, when eight members of the same family teamed up to land $429 million. The Smiths said they did not play the lottery very often but they had a lucky feeling that week.
Check out the Powerball Numbers after every drawing to find out if the latest jackpot has been given away, and consider whether you would stay anonymous or go public with a big win.
Page Last Updated: 22/01/2020 10:56:58