An internal debate has recently surfaced within the lottery world. It is however, a debate and a question that has been raging for quite some time, in fact since the lottery and its jackpot winning was institutionalized all those years ago.
Two distinct arguments surface, with Pro’s and Con’s to both. On one end many feel that the public have the right to know exactly who is receiving government funds, how much, when and where – so that those funds may be tracked and accounted for. It’s no use say five winners from state X have won X amount of millions – who would then truly be able to account for those funds and were they really paid out to Mr. and Mrs. X or were they misappropriated and ended up in some politician’s back pocket?
The other argument is that these winners have rights too, and that they should have the right to privacy if they so wish to. If they do not wish to have their identity known in hopes to keep their lives peaceful and to deter criminals or troublesome attention, then they should have the right to anonymity.
Both camps have one central argument that echoes singularly, and that is the protection against fraud or fraudulent practice. Those who wish to have the players identity announced want to prevent government fraud, and those who want players to remain anonymous want to prevent fraud against the winner.
There are no clear cut winners in either of these arguments with both making valid points as to why lottery winner’s identities should or should not remain anonymous. The editorial board of Pennsylvania’s site, The Sentinel, has made their feelings on the matter quite publically known:
“Sure, winning the lottery may make you a target, but so will wearing the latest pair of Air Jordans and getting $20 out of the ATM. Keeping public information secret is not the answer to ending scams and frauds or deterring thugs. People have a right to know who receives public funds, including lottery winnings. The effort here is not to protect a handful of lottery winners, but a continuation of government to chip away at the public’s right to know.”
In the meantime, however, US states like Arizona have already started implementing Bills that allow winners of their local lottery games, like the Arizona Lottery, to have what they call a ‘running start’. The Bill allows player’s privacy to be protected while giving them a time-frame in which to remain anonymous and settle their affairs before their identity goes public. The proposal was set by Senator John Kavanagh and would still permit winner to go public before that if they so choose. The legislation was approved by the Senate Commerce and Workforce Development Committee on Monday without any dissent, and allows for major winners identity to remain confidential for 90 days, including anyone who wins at least $600.
“To have your name quickly put out into the public really would subject you to a lot of problems,” he told lawmakers. That could range from efforts to kidnap children for ransom to being harassed by everyone from investment advisers to people who want to borrow money,” said Kavanagh.
With the US Powerball Jackpot at $261 million – can you imagine how you would be hounded by long-lost ‘friends’ and ‘family’.
Whether this Bill will become popular with other states around US or even the world, still remains to be seen. What will this mean for lottery playing worldwide, where most games give the player the option to freely come forward and announce your victory or remain anonymous? This interesting debate seems largely unresolved and looks like it might continue to cause worldwide controversy.
How do you weigh in? Would you wish to remain anonymous when winning big as you play lottery online with PlayHugeLottos.com? Or do you feel that winners should be announced, and that it’s the public’s right to know who has won big with Euro Lotto or US Lottery.
Let us know your opinion in the Comments section below, and earn some FREE lottery playing points in the process.