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NY Gov Cuomo vetoes bill that would have allowed lottery jackpot winners to remain anonymous

Dec 9, 2018, 7:12 am

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New York Lottery

A 500 million dollar jackpot can get you a lot of things, but anonymity isn't one of them.

Gov. Cuomo on Saturday announced he vetoed a bill that would have allowed lottery winners in New York to remain anonymous if they so desired.

Under state law, jackpot winners in most cases must agree to be identified publicly.

A bill passed earlier this year by the state Legislature would have prohibited the state Lottery from identifying any holder of a winning lottery ticket if that person provided a written request.

In vetoing the bill, Cuomo said that identifying winners serves a public purpose, including ensuring the public the games are on the up-and-up.

"The presentation and sharing of certain information provides comfort to the general public that there was an actual winner, and the state was not simply adding all the money to its own coffers," Cuomo wrote in his veto message.

The governor added that those wanting to remain anonymous under current law have the option of forming a limited liability company to collected the winnings for them.

Doing so "maintains accountability to the public while also allowing the individual to remain anonymous," Cuomo wrote.

In pushing the bill, state Sen. Kathy Marchione (R-Saratoga County) and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Sullivan County) had said the idea of giving the option of privacy is to protect lottery winners from being targets of scams and criminal activity.

Cuomo also vetoed about a dozen public pension sweetener bills Saturday that he said would be too costly to the state and local governments.

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