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Arkansas lottery players now have the chance to claim their lottery winning anonymously after a bill protecting winners' identities has been passed in the Senate.
On Wednesday, a new bill passed by the Senate for 26-9, allows Arkansas lottery winners of $500,000 or more have the choice to remain anonymous.
This bill was drafted and sponsored by Senator Larry Teague, who had also put forward a similar bill in the past. It was in 2019, that he proposed to amend the state's current Freedom of Information laws to allow any winner of a Mega Millions or Powerball drawing to elect that their identity remains confidential and exempt their information from public record requests. But following an indefinite adjournment of the House and the Senate, the bill was never passed.
Teague came up with new legislation with slight alterations. Any winner of $500,000 or more in Arkansas now has the chance to remain anonymous, but their identity would become public record after three years.
In addition to this, a lottery winner who is either an elected official or is related to an elected official in the second degree can remain confidential for only six months.
According to Teague, the goal of his proposed legislation is to give winners enough time to prepare and adjust to the new-found wealth while ensuring the safety of their families.
On Wednesday, the bill was sent to the House Rules Committee for review, where it must be passed and signed by the Governor, for it to be legally formed as a law.
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