Editorial: Lottery winners identification bill

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia state senators began writing a bill that would shield lottery winners from having their identities published in early 2015.  They've done so again this year.

We don't know if the House will pass this bill, and if it does, the governor will sign it.

Many who are invested in government transparency believe that these winners should be made known to the public at large. After all, how else do we KNOW that somebody really DID win the jackpots the Georgia Lottery announces?

A 2016 tragedy in Fitzgerald is a tragic example of the downside of publicizing the names.

Craigory Burch won four hundred thousand dollars in the lottery, and soon after was brutally murdered by a gang of thieves who invaded his home to steal his winnings.

No one wants this sort of thing to happen. This possibility must be balanced against the notion of transparency.

Part of the proposed law is the option of paying the state a portion of your winnings to withhold your name.

We are against this, flat out. The state is already collecting its share of your purse before you get it. It doesn't need more.

We advise the House to give winners the option of remaining anonymous. Another way to ensure the transparency of the lottery can be found.

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