Michigan Lawmaker Wants To Give Lottery Winners A Privacy Option

Posted on February 16, 2021

We’ll find out someday who won the $1.05 billion jackpot from Mega Millions here in Michigan, but such guarantees might be short-lived.

Rep. Pat Outman (R-Six Lakes) introduced a bill last week to allow Michigan winners of multi-state jackpots, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lucky For Life, to remain anonymous.

Michigan is one of a handful of states that requires lottery winners to be noted in the public record for transparency reasons.

Outman argues Michigan lottery anonymity equals safety

The argument for the law is simple: If everyone knows the suddenly wealthy Michigander, they might be in danger.

Outman said in a statement that:

“This is all about providing safety and ensuring winners of these types of games do not receive unwanted, possibly dangerous attention. The bill would allow those who win the lottery to have the choice to keep their identities anonymous. Allowing a privacy option gives people a more secure feeling and does not leave them open to harassment or a flood of requests for funds, loans or donations.”

House Bill 4218 was referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform. Outman started his first term on Jan. 1 after winning in the November election.

Mega Millions winner has a year to claim jackpot

The lucky Mega Millions winner purchased a ticket at the Kroger in Novi for the Jan. 22 drawing. The sum was the third-largest win in US history. The largest was $1.586 billion, which is also the world record.

Last month’s winner has up to a year to put in a claim with the Michigan lottery agency. The winner can take a lump sum of $530 million after taxes if they choose that route.

Kroger will also get a $50,000 commission when the winner comes forward. The Cincinnati-based grocer announced this month it would be donating the money to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

An online player last week was the first Michigander to win the Lucky For Life prize. The winner gets $1,000 a day for life, which can be paid in yearly installments of $365,000 for a minimum of 20 years or life, whichever is greater. Or the winner can take a lump-sum payment of $5.75 million.

Photo by Dreamstime stock
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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