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 FloridaPolitics.com 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.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories