Who actually won the Mega Millions jackpot may never be revealed. Typically, that is not the case.

The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket is worth $1.337 billion, but due to an Illinois law, the purchaser’s identity may never be made public. Anonymity is generally not an option. hide caption Steve Helber/AP

switch to caption Steve Helber/AP

The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket is worth $1.337 billion, but due to an Illinois law, the purchaser’s identity may never be made public. Anonymity is generally not an option.

AAP Steve Helber The winner of the recent $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot will never be required to divulge their identify. According to the Illinois Lottery, winners of prizes worth more than $250,000 can ask to have their name and hometown retained as confidential .

Although it isn’t the case in many jurisdictions, an increasing number of state lawmakers have aimed to give lottery winners anonymity and give them a feeling of privacy and protection.

According to Gregg Edgar, executive director of the Arizona Lottery, “there has actually been a small movement in the business over the past four or five years to look at doing anonymity for legislatures to go in and change the way the lotteries run and put in the anonymity rules.”

Lottery winners in Arizona used to have just 90 days of protected anonymity before their information was made public. “Winners of $100,000 or larger may chose to keep their name permanently anonymous,” the organization’s website now states.

WHY DO SO FAR SO FEW STATES PERMIT ANONYMITY? According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the majority of jurisdictions do not provide for player anonymity.

The statement in paragraph website reads, “State and provincial lawmakers want the public to know that the lottery is honestly managed and as a result require that at the very least the winner’s name and place of residence be made.” “In this manner, the general audience can be assured that the award was truly given to a real individual.”

According to Edgar, he has a fiduciary duty to Arizona’s budget to be open and honest about how the company makes and spends money.

For many of us, he continued, “this is public money, and we need to make sure that we’re transparent and that people can see that there are winners that come through.” But, he continued, transparency must be weighed against ensuring the security of winners.

As lottery winnings increase, Edgar anticipates that efforts to protect lottery winners’ privacy will spread to other jurisdictions in the nation.
State laws governing public records exist. The vast majority of states do not permit anonymity, including Vermont.

According to Wendy Knight, commissioner of the state’s liquor and lottery department, “the Lottery does regularly honor requests from winners not to post their personal information on social media, but any person can still request to obtain a copy of, or to inspect, records produced or acquired by the Lottery in the course of its business under the Vermont Public Records Act.”

According to Knight, “Any player who is concerned about privacy and security issues related to claiming a prize may want to seek professional services through an accountant, attorney, tax adviser, and/or other consultant to assess and strategize about their available options and decide what makes the most sense for them.

Legislators who have advocated for lottery winners’ anonymity have raised privacy and security issues. It is currently against the law in Missouri to divulge the identify of a lottery winner as of 2021.

According to a previous Associated Press story, the legislation’s proponents wished to shield award recipients from threats or harassment when others learned of their win.

You can check the website of your state lottery to learn more about anonymity where you live.

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