The Official Lottery Rules – Why Some States Are Pushing For Anonymous Lottery Winners

The lottery is a huge business, with Americans spending more than $100 billion each year on tickets. Super-sized jackpots drive sales and earn the games a torrent of free publicity on news sites and newscasts. But this publicity has a dark side, as the prize money becomes more attractive to criminals looking for a quick score. This is one of the reasons why some state officials are pushing to allow winners to remain anonymous.

In a country that has long been defined politically by an aversion to taxation, lotteries have often been a budgetary miracle, allowing politicians to swell coffers without raising taxes. In the early nineteen-eighties, when America was going through a tax revolt (one that culminated in Californiaโ€™s Proposition 13, which cut property taxes by sixty per cent), many states turned to the lottery for cash.

The most common way to win a lottery is by buying a ticket that contains numbers or symbols, with the bettor responsible for determining whether he or she won. In modern times, a bettor may choose his or her own numbers by filling in an official form or using a computer to select them. Regardless of how the ticket is purchased, all lotteries have the same basic elements.

In the early twenty-first century, the lottery gained popularity as a “classic” lottery with preprinted numbers and symbols, but this type of lottery gradually lost ground to lotteries where bettors can choose their own numbers. The latter are more likely to produce a winner, and the prizes are more valuable.