HARRISBURG – The Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee, (CERD) chaired by Senator John Yudichak (I-14), took action on Senate Bill 1163 today, advancing the bill to the full Senate for consideration. The legislation will have a profound impact on protecting Pennsylvania Lottery prizewinners’ identities and other personal information.
Introduced by Senator Yudichak, Senate Bill 1163 will allow a prizewinner to choose whether to disclose their name and other identifying information. Under this bill, the city and county of residence of a prizewinner would remain public information, but the prizewinner would be given a choice to either disclose or keep their name and other identifying information confidential.
“The identities and other personal information of Pennsylvania Lottery prizewinners is currently designated as public information under Pennsylvania’s Open Records law,” said Yudichak. “While recognizing the importance of transparency in Pennsylvania Lottery operations, I believe it is equally important to protect our lottery winners’ privacy and protect them from criminals and scam artists who prey upon substantial jackpot winners.”
Under current Pennsylvania law, the identity and other personal information of Pennsylvania Lottery prizewinners is designated as public information under the state’s Open Records law. Unfortunately, however, jackpot winners are often met with unwelcome contact, harassment and fraud. As lottery jackpots continue to grow to hundreds of millions of dollars, winners have a higher risk of being targeted. Senate Bill 1163 would protect the identity of any individual that wins a lottery prize of $1 million or more.