Bill would keep lottery winners' names secret

Posted April 29, 2013

— The days of North Carolina lottery winners posing with giant checks might be numbered.

State law now requires that the names of lottery winners be publicized, but House Bill 516 would disclose their names only if they consent. Also, the names would be handed over to state and federal tax authorities and to the courts in cases where there is an outstanding judgment against a winner.

"I just got to thinking and thought, 'Wow, they're going to be targets of some type of scam artists or criminals," sponsor Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, said Monday.

Jackson said the bill still needs work and likely won't be considered until next year.

North Carolina Education Lottery officials question the sudden need to keep winners' names under wraps, saying releasing the names goes hand-in-hand with being a public agency.

"For that information to suddenly be secret, we think would raise questions about the lottery," lottery spokesman Van Denton said. "Our players want to know who wins those prizes. They are entering a contest, and one of the most frequent questions we get when we have drawings is, 'Who are the winners?'"

Lottery winners Lottery says publicity, openness needed

Retailer Rami Nasa said he doesn't care if winners' names are disclosed as long as the lottery keeps publicizing where winning tickets are sold. His One Stop Shop convenience store on Mitchell Mill Road in eastern Wake County has become a destination for lottery players since a Zebulon man bought two winning Cash 5 tickets there, totaling $1.3 million before taxes.

"People get to know that a certain place has got so many winners," Nasa said. "A lot of people have been talking about it. I hear it every other day. ... I've seen some new faces to play the lottery, especially Cash 5."


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  • superman Apr 30, 2013

    Anyone who is lucky enough to win the lottery is not apt to keep it a secret. They are going to tell someone and then the word is out. Telling your friends and family about your good luck is part of winning. If I won the lottery I am certainly strong minded enough to say "NO".

  • Sherlock Apr 30, 2013

    If this bills goes through then a another bill should go with it that protects local & state employees from have to tell everyone what they are paid, this should also be kept from the public. Lottery winner are not different.

  • basstrb Apr 29, 2013

    About time

  • watkinsjr Apr 29, 2013

    This bill is an excellent idea, and one that is long overdue.If someone hits a big lottery jackpot, and their name becomes a matter of public record, they would almost have to become fugitives from all the con artists that would swarm around them like vultures.Making these names public also exposes winners & their families to dangers from kidnappers & other criminals.Passing this bill into law is a true no-brainer !!

  • sisu Apr 29, 2013

    I think the option of privacy is a good one. I rarely play the lottery but if I won a large amount of money I wouldn't want people to know. I'd want to keep my current job (since I like what I do) and fix a few things around the house. I'd help several co-workers a bit (discreetly) and some family as well but I would just pretty much just want the financial security... not publicity. If people know, some just wouldn't treat you the same.

    Oh, to have such a problem :)

  • HailBasket Apr 29, 2013

    Why does winning a lottery give the entire public access to a person's name and face in the first place?! If I win I'll tell no one.

    Also, lottery winnings and prize winnings should be filed under "gift" meaning that they are tax free.

  • whoami Apr 29, 2013

    When I win, and I will, I do not want to publish my name. I prefer to enjoy my windfall privately.

  • asdfg Apr 29, 2013

    "releasing the names goes hand-in-hand with being a public agency"

    I wonder if the names of everyone who receives public assistance is available. Might cut down on fraud if they were, or at least give people the chance to shame some dead beat parents that don't take care of their kids and force the other parent to get welfare.

  • stymieindurham Apr 29, 2013

    There should be more prize winners and less big winners. I would rather see 10 100K winners than one, 1 million dollar winner.

  • stymieindurham Apr 29, 2013

    ". . . . we think would raise questions about the lottery,"
    I already have questions abou the lottery! Why is there an hour to 1 1/2 hrs. from the time tickets stop to the time of the drawing? Is that just enough time for the system to compute what numbers DID NOT win??