Bill Could Keep Lottery Winners From Public Spotlight

Feb 28, 2013

A vote this week by the Senate Commerce Committee could soon provide relief for Lottery Winners who want to escape calls from family, friends and foes. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.

Under current state law, if you win the lottery your name becomes public. The proposal by Representative John Kavanagh would have Arizona join five other states that permit winners to retain their confidentiality. Kavanagh said of the measure, "I want to shield winners from the annoyance and maybe even the harassment of everybody knowing who they are and hitting them up for money wherever they go. I also want to help them maintain normal lives. How much money we make, how much we're worth is, for the most part, private. You don't go to a cocktail party and tell people about that."

The legislation drew fire from attorney David Bodney who represents the Arizona Republic. "Public accountability, giving folks the sense that it wasn't somebody's in-law or nephew or cousin of a member of the Lottery Commission who keeps winning these awards is essential because it protects against misconduct and cronyism, " Bodney said.

The 5-2 vote sends the measure to the full Senate.