|Rep. Ted Harhai
58th Legislative District
Harhai: Let lottery winners decide whether to go public
HARRISBURG, Dec. 6 – State Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Fayette/Westmoreland, has introduced a bill that would let lottery winners remain anonymous.
Under Harhai's bill (H.B. 1893), any person awarded a lottery prize, including prizes for multistate lottery games such as Powerball and Mega Millions, could decide whether or not to release his or her name and other personal information, but the city and county of the winner would not be considered confidential information.
"I think providing this option is necessary," Harhai said. "In particular, multistate lottery jackpots can reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and many people, both legitimate and criminal, come out of the woodwork to try to reap some of those winnings for themselves. Allowing winners the option of remaining anonymous is the least we can do to protect them from those who would prey upon them."
Harhai said news reports recount stories of the perils befallen lottery winners, from alleged poisonings and murder to theft, burglary and swindles.
If the bill is enacted into law, Pennsylvania would join Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Kansas and North Dakota in allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous.