By Bob Katzen
Legislation that would allow Lottery winners to request that their name, address and other identifying information not be disclosed by the Lottery Commission has died in a study committee. The measure also requires the Lottery Commission to inform a winning ticket holder of their right not to have their personal information disclosed to the public. Another provision gives winners the right to refuse to perform any public action in connections with the awarding, payment or collection of prize money.
“Private citizens should never have to worry about their personal privacy or safety should they choose to play the lottery,” said Sen. Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “Right now, the commonwealth effectively forces a prize winner to hire private legal counsel in order to remain confidential. This policy needs to change before someone is harmed by the shameless publicity and marketing sought by the Lottery, which is the only reason this bill has stalled. Personal safety is far more important than the promotion and advertisement of mere games, and I will aggressively push this legislation next session.”
Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney opposed the bill. “Providing a public record of winners is important to the integrity and public trust in our games, assuring the public that prizes are being awarded in a transparent manner,” said Sweeney.