YUMA, Ariz. – This week’s Powerball lottery reached an unthinkable amount of half a billion dollars. Today 26-year-old Marie Holmes from North Carolina claims to be one of three big winners. “I’m gonna take my kids away for a little bit, because you never know what people may be thinking about when you win you win the lottery and stuff,” said Holmes.
That’s exactly why this week Arizona senate passed bill 1040 that would allow lottery winners in the state to remain anonymous for up to 90 days after they claim their prize. Republican senator John Kavanagh says his proposal is designed to give big winners time to get financial advice and make security arrangements.
“Well we had a guy in our hometown who won $25 million and he got death threats and his family got death threats. And it’s just really nobody’s business. And it would be for safety not to have your name released,” said Carol Hicks, who agrees with the push for the bill.
Senator Kavanagh pushed to allow anonymity forever, but just got three months on a 28-1 vote. “I think it should remain anonymous forever. Nobody has any reason to know who won it,” said Hicks.
Many shared the same concern. “I think that’s very possible because you’ll get people like distant cousins like hey congratulations, can you hook me up?” said Kacey Rainey who also agrees with bill 1040.
Jaci Boisjolie says her concern is, “That I would be taken advantage of or people would try to find me, find out where I live, that’s just scary in general. If somebody crazy knows that you have that much money imagine what they would do to get it.”
Only one out of five people approached felt revealing your name after winning the lottery wouldn’t matter. “No I want them to know that I’m out there, making money,” said Cailor Hemmers. It’s now up to governor Ducey to either veto the bill or sign it into law.