“I think it protects our public and I think actually it may enhance the sale of lottery tickets when people know they will not be exposed and have their name put out before the public and make them the victim of a crime,” Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, told fellow lawmakers about the bill Monday.
The bill’s critics worry such a law would cloud transparency and raise questions about whether winners fairly won their prize.
“When you make lottery winnings secret, it opens the door to shenanigans,” Georgia First Amendment Foundation president Richard Griffiths said in an interview. “The public has the right to know the lottery is open and transparent.”
Griffiths said the foundation will urge House members to “think it through.”
Lottery proceeds help fund the state’s HOPE college scholarship program.
Senate lawmakers added an amendment that does not require winners to pay the state for costs associated with keeping their names private. The bill initially allows the state to collect up to four percent of the winnings for such costs. The bill's lead sponsor, Sen. Steve Henson, D-Stone Mountain, said Monday he believes such costs would be low.