An attempt to allow lottery winners to keep their identities secret failed in committee Wednesday, with most members saying they wanted to keep operations transparent.
State Rep. Darren Jackson, a Wake County Democrat, said winners should have the option of keeping their names and hometowns secret to protect themselves against unwanted attention or personal harm. Jackson said after the vote that he may try again in a future session to get a law passed.
“I know that many other states are having these same discussions,” Jackson said. “I’ll monitor those and then, whether I’m here or not, maybe somebody will look at it next time and reconsider or consider running a different bill or a different version of the bill.”
Jackson told a House Judiciary committee that the issue is one of transparency vs. public safety. “I just balance it a little bit toward public safety.”
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Jackson said he could not find reliable reports of people being physically harmed because they were a lottery winners.
Committee members said they were not convinced that the bill was needed or that it was a good idea.
Knowing winners’ identities helps prevent fraud and helps the public know that nothing shady is going on, they said.
Rep. Craig Horn, a Weddington Republican, said he was satisfied with the information the N.C. Education Lottery provides winners on how to protect themselves and prepare for the money.
“I am really concerned about confidence in government,” he said. “I’m going to have to come down on the side of transparency.”
An amendment which would have allowed winners’ identities to remain confidential for 90 days failed.