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December 6, 2013 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

PA lawmaker: Lottery winners should have right to privacy

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

One Pennsylvania lawmaker says lottery winners should have the right to spend their millions in private.

State Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Fayette and Westmoreland, said Friday he’s introduced a bill that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous when they cash in their lucky tickets.

“I think providing this option is necessary,” Harhai said in a statement. “In particular, multistate lottery jackpots can reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and many people, both legitimate and criminal, come out of the woodwork to try to reap some of those winnings for themselves. Allowing winners the option of remaining anonymous is the least we can do to protect them from those who would prey upon them.”

MYSTERY WINNERS: One Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

MYSTERY WINNERS: One Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

So far, only Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Kansas and North Dakota allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

Other states have consider the issue before.

While Harhai points to the more nefarious aspects of winning mega bucks, others say lottery information is public record.

Under Harhai’s proposal, anyone who wins the lottery, including prizes for multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, could choose whether to release their names or collect their winnings in obscurity.

Even though winners could remain anonymous, their city and county of residence would not be considered confidential.

Andrew Staub is a reporter for PA Independent and can be reached at Andrew@PAIndependent.com.  Follow @PAIndependent on Twitter for more.

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