Bill letting lottery winners stay anonymous advances in House

florida lottery copy
Lucky winners could have identities shielded for 90 days.

Winning the lottery can lead to unintended consequences, and legislation offering protection from one potential pitfall moved forward in a House subcommittee Wednesday.

The Government Operations Subcommittee advanced by a 14-1 voice vote HB 159, legislation sponsored by Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis that would shield the identity of those lucky winners of $250,000 or more for 90 days.

The bill, which has been heard before, is intended to protect the safety of winners.

“Everyone thinks about winning the big prize,” Davis said. “But for some, the dream becomes a nightmare.”

Per the bill’s statement of public necessity, those who “win valuable lottery prizes have been the targets of violent and nonviolent criminal acts based upon publicly available identifying information.”

The address and phone number of winners are already confidential, according to Florida Statute. The Davis bill would allow lottery winners to keep their names confidential, though they would be allowed to waive that right also.

Such confidentiality would not apply to governmental entities, which have access to such information for functions ranging from child support to retiring state debts. Private entities, however, wouldn’t be able to know who won a given prize until that 90 day period expired.

Davis said she has not consulted the current Secretary of the Lottery on this legislation but will have that conversation as the bill advances.

This bill still has committee stops ahead in State Affairs and the larger General Operations Committee.

In the event it should get to the House floor, it faces a higher threshold vote than a simple majority for passage. The bill requires a two-thirds vote among members on hand because it would create a new public record exemption.

Democrat Tina Polsky is carrying the Senate version, which has three committee stops ahead and has yet to get a hearing.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Tom

    October 21, 2021 at 8:00 am

    The address and phone number of winners are already confidential, according to Florida Statute.
    What a joke. With the person name, i can easily find their address and phone on the internet

Comments are closed.


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