|Posted:||April 6, 2021 11:14 AM|
|From:||Representative Patrick J. Harkins|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Protecting the Identity of Lottery Winners|
|Pennsylvania is one of many states in which lottery winners cannot remain anonymous as certain information is considered public under the state’s Open Records law. The Pennsylvania Lottery wants to ensure the public that they operate with integrity and transparency, and that every winner is a real, taxpaying Pennsylvanian. Unfortunately, some lottery players who have won considerably high prizes playing the Lottery are liable to be met with harassment and solicitation. In fact, former Erie resident William “Bud” Post was a victim of an assassination attempt by his brother, a lawsuit by his landlord and girlfriend, excessive debt, and additional hardships when he won $16.2 million in the 1988 Pennsylvania jackpot drawing.
As lottery jackpots continue to grow to hundreds of millions of dollars, winners have a higher risk of fraud, threats of physical harm and against their property and family, and other serious and dangerous situations. To combat these potential adversities, I am introducing legislation that would protect the identity of any individual that wins a lottery prize of $1 million or more. The Lottery is permitted disclose the city, township, or borough of residence, county of residence, and prize amount paid to the winner to maintain the integrity of its operations. A prizewinner may also voluntarily waive their confidentiality if they so choose.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation to protect lottery prize winners from individuals who seek to capitalize on their good fortune.
Introduced as HB1556