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GOP bill would keep Wisconsin lottery winners secret

Apr 24, 2019, 2:28 pm

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Wisconsin Lottery

Two Republican lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow lottery winners in Wisconsin to remain anonymous.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Rep. Gary Tauchen announced the bill Tuesday, about 40 minutes after Manuel Franco of West Allis appeared a Madison news conference to reveal he had won a $768 million Powerball jackpot, the third largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

Current state law doesn't allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Tauchen said in a news release announcing the bill that lottery winners often become targets of fraud, abuse and harassment.

Several states are exploring various levels of anonymity for lottery winners. (See Growing number of states move to shield lottery winners, Lottery Post, Apr. 14, 2019.)

Franco said at his news conference that he felt a sense of paranoia after he realized he won. He says he thought somebody was behind him every day and he kept the winning ticket in a safe.

Separately, another area of Wisconsin lottery law that apparently needs to be addressed by lawmakers is payouts to more than one player. Currently, the state requires the Wisconsin Lottery to issue a prize to only one player. If multiple people have pooled their money to purchase tickets, they need to get a court order to tell the lottery how to divide the winnings.

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