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House bill would give Michigan lottery winners anonymity option

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 15:45:21-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan state Rep. Pat Outman introduced on Thursday legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

The goal is to better protect people who win the lottery from potential danger or harassment, according to a news release.

House Bill 4218 would allow Michigan lottery winners of multi-state games – such as Mega Millions, Powerball and Lucky for Life – the option to remain anonymous.

Current law allows winners’ names to be disclosed publicly and to the media.

Michigan is one of just a handful of states that currently doesn’t allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

“This is all about providing safety and ensuring winners of these types of games do not receive unwanted, possibly dangerous attention,” Outman said. “The bill would allow those who win the lottery to have the choice to keep their identities anonymous. Allowing a privacy option gives people a more secure feeling and does not leave them open to harassment or a flood of requests for funds, loans or donations.”

Outman added that the rise of social media has made it easier than ever to find out personal information about a lottery winner, leaving them vulnerable to scams and solicitation.

“Everyone who plays these types of lottery games hopes to win big and if it happens, it should be a time of celebration, not distress,” Outman said. “Several other states allow winners to remain anonymous and, in my opinion, it’s time Michigan allow this option as well.”

HB 4218 was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform for further consideration.