Gov. DeSantis to decide if lottery winners can shield identities

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The bill would give winners 90 days of anonymity.

Among five bills received Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis: a measure that would allow big lottery winners to keep their identities shielded long enough to get their affairs in order.

Florida law already makes the address and phone number of winners confidential. But HB 159 from Sen. Tina Polsky and Rep. Tracie Davis would allow those who win $250,000 or more to keep their names confidential for 90 days, though they would be allowed to waive that right.

Davis, a Jacksonville Democrat, told House members the recommendation came from Florida Lottery Secretary John Davis. When prizes are valued at $250,000 or more, winners must come to the lottery headquarters in Tallahassee to collect their winnings.

The $250,000 threshold was also chosen, Polsky said in the Senate, to ensure publicity for prize winners is still created.

The Senate and the House each passed the measure nearly unanimously.

Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Howey-in-the-Hills was the only vote against the bill. Similarly, Estero Republican Sen. Ray Rodrigues was the lone Senator to vote against the measure as it passed 37-1.

House sponsor Davis has talked this legislation up as a success during comments in Jacksonville. She said Saturday during a recap of the Session that her most “popular” bill this year was this bill protecting lottery winners’ identity for 90 days after winning, “just to get their financial situation in order before they are revealed.”

Staff Reports


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