Lottery winners of $100,000 or more in Arizona can now stay anonymous thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The legislation came about due to privacy concerns.
More states are allowing lottery winners to hide their identity. A few years ago, four states gave lottery winners the choice to stay anonymous. Now, ten states allow it.
A spokesperson for the governor, Patrick Ptak, says the law will protect Arizonans and the integrity of the Arizona Lottery.
“Winning the lottery shouldn’t come at the expense of someone’s privacy or safety,” Ptak said.
Recently, the New Mexico governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, took the opposite stance and refused to sign similar legislation, prioritizing transparency over privacy.
“To be sure, the governor is clear about the concerns raised by proponents, i.e., that certain bad actors could take advantage of lottery winners if their names are made public,” said spokesperson Tripp Stelnicki.
“New Mexicans should have every confidence in the games run by the lottery.”
At least eight states considered privacy measures for lottery winners. Virginia and Arizona signed theirs into law.
The Arizona Lottery is pushing the need for transparency. According to the lottery, transparency is vital in maintaining the integrity of the lottery system.
“The only way the public has an absolute guarantee of integrity as far as real people winning these prizes is to be able to know who wins these prizes,” state lottery spokesman John Gilliland said.
As unlikely as it may seem, lottery fraud is a concern. In 2017, a programmer that worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association received 25 years in prison for rigging a computer program to allow him to cheat the lottery system in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma between 2005 and 2011.
The executive director of the Iowa-based lottery association, which runs the Powerball game in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, understands why some desire secrecy.
“However, the disclosure of winner names is one way lotteries are working to keep the process transparent,” said Executive Director J. Bret Toyne. “It shows the public that everyday people are randomly winning the prizes.”