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Bill would make lottery winners anonymous

Michigan House

A northern Michigan lawmaker wants to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced a bill last week to accomplish that.

Right now, Vanderwall says, if you win the lottery, the state publishes your name, what county you live in and where you bought the ticket.

"What we’re trying to do is to give people an opportunity to make good decisions after they claim their prize so that they can meet with a financial advisor and a lawyer to make sure that they don’t have a whole bunch of new friends real quick," says VanderWall.

He says the bill would protect winners from thieves and harassment.

"It takes away that old good term the lottery curse," says VanderWall, "because as you know a lot of them all of a sudden get a whole bunch of money … and the next thing you know they’re broke."

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform for review.

Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.