Bipartisan legislation that gives Missouri Lottery winners the option to remain anonymous is now on Governor Mike Parson’s desk.
It’s the first time in Missouri history that the Legislature has approved a bill from husband-and-wife legislators. The Senate approved the bill from State Sen. Angela Mosley (D-Florissant) by a 33-0 vote, and the House approved the bill from State Rep. Jay Mosley (D-Florissant) 149-0.
Representative Mosley, who’s worked on this bill for at least three years, tells Missourinet that some Lottery winners have been harassed and threatened.
“Basically, it (the bill) was just to bring about peace of mind for those who are blessed enough to win the (Missouri) Lottery, to make sure that they can do it, you know, discreetly,” Mosley says.
The Missouri Lottery’s current practice is to post the names of prize winners to the lottery website, to announce the winnings. Under Mosley’s bill, the lottery winners could still have their names announced, but it would be the lottery winner’s decision.
Representative Mosley says it will give lottery winners an added level of safety.
“You know, not having to worry about people knocking on their doors that they don’t know, or being predators or trying to get ahold of their (Missouri Lottery) winnings,” says Mosley.
He says the newfound money can draw unwanted attention.
The Missouri Press Association (MPA) submitted written testimony opposed to House Bill 402. MPA says announcing a Lottery winner’s name builds trust.
“Keeping names of Lottery winners open promotes transparency and a feeling of fairness in the operation of the Missouri Lottery. Publishing the winners’ names is good for the entire Lottery system. Revealing Lottery winners’ names builds trust and excitement, which drives ticket sales,” MPA’s Doug Crews’ written testimony reads, in part.
As for Representative Mosley, he says some Missourians are currently driving to neighboring Kansas to buy tickets. Lottery winners in the Sunflower state have the option to remain anonymous.
“There are like ten other states (Kansas is one of them) that have that anonymity, and I just thought it would be a good thing for us to have,” Mosley says.
Governor Parson told Missourinet on Friday that his office is currently reviewing the language in all bills that were approved by the Legislature. The governor has until July 15 to decide whether to sign or veto bills.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full four-minute interview with State Rep. Jay Mosley (D-Florissant), which was recorded on May 14, 2021 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:
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