Sunday, January 19, 2014

Indiana Senator Wants to Change Lottery Law

An Indiana State senator is campaigning to allow Hoosier Lottery winners the right to remain anonymous.

The bill was filed by state Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, who stated, "You wouldn't believe the people who come out of the woodwork when they hear someone has come into a large sum of money." 

The senator's legislation has not been scheduled for a hearing though, and it does not appear to be on the cards anytime soon. The chairman of the Senate Public Policy Committee, Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette has blocked the bill, stating he will not hear it during this year's short session. His reasons for this are unknown.

At the present time only six states allow lottery winners to keep their identity secret, but Senator Waltz is not alone in his desire to make such changes. Lawmakers in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have also recently tried to bring in measures to protect the privacy of lottery winners.

The present Indiana law allows the Hoosier Lottery to collect information from every player who wins $600 or more and winners are required to complete a claim form that documents their name and home town, along with the location where they purchased their ticket.  Some of the included information is then considered public knowledge and pictures of the winners and their personal stories are shared with the media.

Indiana State lottery officials declined to comment on Senator Waltz’s proposal, but Hoosier Lottery representative, Stephanie McFarland, stated the lottery would comply with any legislative changes that arise.