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GOP bill would keep lottery winners secret in Wisconsin

Hand holding Powerball tickets
Posted at 1:50 PM, Apr 23, 2019

MADISON — Two Republican lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow lottery winners in Wisconsin to remain anonymous.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Rep. Gary Tauchen announced the bill Tuesday, about 40 minutes after Manuel Franco of West Allis appeared at a Madison news conference to reveal he had won a $768 million Powerball jackpot.

“The government shouldn’t force lottery winners to come forward publicly if they don’t want to,” said Vos. “Just because you win the lottery, it shouldn’t mean you lose your right to privacy.”

Current state law doesn't allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Tauchen said in a news release announcing the bill that lottery winners often become targets of fraud, abuse and harassment.

“Winning the lottery often makes you a target of fraud, abuse and harassment,” Tauchen said. “Winners often take steps of wearing costumes and other efforts to conceal their identity and protect their privacy.”

"Winners often take steps of wearing costumes and other efforts to conceal their identity and protect their privacy.” — Rep. Gary Tauchen

Franco said at his news conference that he felt a sense of paranoia after he realized he won. He said he thought somebody was behind him every day and he kept the winning ticket in a safe.