Proposed bill could keep Missouri lottery winners anonymous
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri lawmaker has proposed a bill that, if passed, would give lottery winners the choice to remain anonymous.
The bill was put forward by State Representative Jay Mosley (D-Florissant).
The proposal, House Bill 1563, would prohibit state lottery officials from publishing a winner’s name, address or any other identifying information unless the winner allows it.
On Wednesday, the plan was met with support from a Lee’s Summit couple that won $1.2 million last fall in the Missouri Lottery.
“We paid off our home. We paid off my car. Steve splurged and bought a truck,” said Suzanne Neuner, whose husband Steve bought the winning ticket at a nearby gas station. “It’s shocking. You don’t believe it. You never think you’re going to win.”
While the prize certainly brought plenty of smiles, Suzanne Neuner told 41 Action News that the win also brought unwanted attention.
Under Missouri Lottery rules, Steve Neuner’s picture and name were posted to the lottery website to report the victory.
After the news went public, Suzanne Neuner said plenty of people reached out.
“Some people were on the internet calling my husband,” she said. “They were odd people. They wanted us to invest with them.”
According to Mosley, stories similar to the one the Neuners experienced prompted him to put the bill forward.
“Not having to disclose your identity to the public, I think it means the world, and it’ll be appreciated,” he said. “People wouldn’t be easily targeted, and I think people will be more at ease.”
While the identities of Missouri winners are made public, neighboring Kansas is one of only a few states where winners can remain anonymous.
As a result, Mosley said, Missouri was likely losing some lottery players in the metro area.
“We’re probably losing a significant amount of money to Kansas because of that fact,” he said.
If passed, HB 1563 would apply to any amount of money won.
As of Wednesday, the proposal was waiting to move forward in the legislative process after a hearing earlier this week.A Missouri lawmaker has proposed a bill that, if passed, would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.
Lawmaker proposing Missouri Lottery winner legislation emphasizes safety (AUDIO)
February 17, 2020 By Brian Hauswirth
Legislation that would give Missouri Lottery winners the option of not having their names published by the Lottery was heard by a House committee in Jefferson City on Monday.
The Missouri Lottery logo (courtesy of Missouri Lottery)
The bill sponsor, State Rep. Jay Mosley, D-Florissant, tells Missourinet it’s a safety issue.
“I want people to feel safe when they win,” Mosley says. “I want them to experience their winnings in the best possible fashion.”
Mosley testifies Missouri Lottery winners could be targeted by people who read about their win, or approached by family members who want money.
House Bill 1563 would give lottery winners the option of anonymity. Representative Mosley testifies that eight states already allow it, including neighboring Kansas.
“I also feel that we’ll probably keep monies here in the state as well, since Kansas is one of those (eight) anonymous states,” says Mosley.
Mosley emphasizes that winners could still have their names published under his legislation, if they choose to.
“I know there are people out there that want to disclose that information, but most people, from my knowledge, don’t,” Mosley says.
The bill applies to the Missouri Lottery Commission, the state Lottery, lottery and contract employees. Under the bill, “publish” means issuing information or material to the public in printed or electronic form.
His bill would apply to lottery winners of any amount. Under the bill, violators would be charged with a class A misdemeanor.
The House General Laws Committee did not vote on the bill on Monday. The bipartisan legislation was approved unanimously by the committee in 2019.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Jay Mosley, D-Florissant, which was recorded on February 17, 2020 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:Lawmaker proposing Missouri Lottery winner legislation emphasizes safety (AUDIO) February 17, 2020 By Brian Hauswirth Legislation that would give Missouri Lottery winners the option of not ]]>