Under new proposal, Florida Lottery winners could remain anonymous for 90 days

SB 170 would create a public-records exemption for the names of people who win lottery prizes of $250,000 or more.

click to enlarge The names, cities of residence, games won, amounts won and details about where tickets were purchased are regularly released by the state lottery agency as part of its marketing strategy. - FloridaLottery/Facebook
FloridaLottery/Facebook
The names, cities of residence, games won, amounts won and details about where tickets were purchased are regularly released by the state lottery agency as part of its marketing strategy.

Florida lawmakers might take another crack at giving big winners of lottery games a chance to start spending the money before being publicly identified.

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, filed a proposal (SB 170) on Tuesday that would create a public-records exemption for the names of people who win lottery prizes of $250,000 or more. The exemption would last for 90 days, with the clock running from the time prizes are claimed. The bill is filed for consideration during the 2022 legislative session, which will start in January.

The House voted 117-1 to approve a similar proposal during the 2021 session. But a version filed by Polsky did not get through Senate committees. Rep. Tracie Davis, a Jacksonville Democrat who sponsored the House bill during the 2021 session, argued on the House floor that big-ticket lottery winners “endure all types of scams, harassment and even some of them loss of life.”

The names, cities of residence, games won, amounts won and details about where tickets were purchased are regularly released by the state lottery agency as part of its marketing strategy. Under the proposal, prize winners could consent to release their names. The proposed $250,000 threshold was set because it matches an amount that requires winners to travel to lottery headquarters in Tallahassee to claim prizes.

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