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Bill Seeks Lotto Winner Protections

Mon, 17 Feb 2014 08:31:41 CST

     Winning big in the Lottery is also a ticket to a lot of media attention. Now, there's an effort being spearheaded by state representative Will Davis to keep winners' identities secret:

"And I was just thinking if I was fortunate enough to win, I don't know if I would want my name or be required to publicize if I was a winner. And just for the record I'm not (laughs) so..."

But he's concerned about the people who do win ... fearful that a big announcement makes a sudden millionaire an easy victim for scam artists. Davis, a Democrat from Homewood, proposes prohibiting the state from disclosing a winners' name without authorization. Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones says there's a historic reason for requiring winners' names be made public:

"That stemmed from a great deal of controversy surrounding fraud that was committed by lotteries in the 1870s, 1880s, that would sell lots and lots of lottery tickets and then award the prizes to their friends and or relatives."

Nevertheless, Jones says in the new era of social media and mega prizes, protecting a winner's privacy is something to consider.

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