JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill seeking to protect lottery winners’ identities crossed the legislative finish line this week, progressing to the governor’s desk for final approval.
Rep. Jay Mosley’s HB 402 would change state law to prohibit the publishing of winners’ information on the lottery website to announce their winnings. Names, addresses, and other information is shielded under Mosley’s bill. Current law sees winners’ names, retail location, and games won published on the website, a practice lottery players would still be able to opt into under the language.
Mosley’s bill would make violating the new law a misdemeanor.
“The last thing we want is for the excitement of winning the lottery to be replaced with a sense of fear because the newfound money draws unwanted attention,” Mosley said. “We’ve seen cases where winners are harassed and even threatened, and that’s something we want to do all we can to prevent. This is a simple change but one that will protect everyone who plays the lottery here in Missouri.”
An amendment from Mosley required authorization forms to clearly state the information they would disclose and would prohibit unsolicited forms from being sent; no other changes were attached in either chamber.
Other states, including Kansas, allow winners to remain anonymous. Mosley said he hoped the bill would encourage those concerned about their privacy to play the lottery in Missouri rather than traveling to other states to remain anonymous.
The bill was handled in the upper chamber by Mosley’s wife, Sen. Angela Mosley, who shepherded the bill to a swift victory Wednesday evening. Lawmakers said this was the first time a bill has been handled across chambers by a married couple.
The measure passed unanimously in the upper chamber to applause from both sides of the aisle.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.