TRENTON – The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee unanimously approved a bill Monday that would allow lottery winners in New Jersey to stay out of the public eye for a year.
“Many people dream of one day winning the lottery, but the consequences of becoming an instant millionaire, coupled with overnight fame, can be disastrous, and at its worst deadly,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union), one of the bill’s sponsors. “Not every lottery-winning story ends badly, but there have been enough cases to warrant better safeguards for lottery winners. Lottery winners should have the choice to remain anonymous, and enjoy their lucky streak without worry that their lives and finances will be threatened.”
The bill (A-2982) directs the State Lottery Commission to establish by regulation that lottery winners may remain anonymous for one year, and that the identity of a lottery winner who chooses to remain anonymous not be included in materials available for public inspection during that time.
Current regulations allow the State Lottery to use the names, addresses, prize amount and photographs of winners. The address used does not include a street or house number. In addition, a winner’s name, town, and county are available under the Open Public Records Act.