Texas’s House of Representative’s has just approved a measure that will allow lottery winners who receive $1 Million or more to remain anonymous.
House Bill 59, presented by state Rep. Ryan Guillen, proposes that winners who receive $1 Million or more may remain anonymous except for child support and tax obligations. The bill still needs final approval from the senate before becoming law.
Currently, the Texas Public Information Act requires public release of the names, city of residence, and prize amounts of all lottery winners.
“Due to the media storm surrounding large winnings, personally identifiable information about winners is spread across the state and sometimes the nation,” Guillen stated. This bill will ensure that winners are allowed peace, privacy and safety.
Guillen adds that often winners of large sums become the focus of unwanted attention and targets for burglary, theft, and demands for monetary help from friends and family.
Critics of the bill say that anonymity will hurt the public’s perception of the lottery’s integrity and could negatively impact lottery sales.
Six states—Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina—allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Other states, including Texas, allow winners to collect their prize through a trustee, such as a lawyer, which still affords the prize winner some anonymity.
Check back for updates as the story progresses!