Why Aren’t Lottery Winners Kept Anonymous?

April 30, 2019

Lottery Winner

Winning the lottery can be a blessing and a curse. For many people, winning the money means an end to your financial woes and the opportunity to live out your dreams. What most people forget is that once they’ve won they have to let everyone know. This can lead to a lot of problems for winners, including safety and security issues. So why don’t we allow our lottery winners to remain anonymous?

The Argument for Anonymity

Once you’ve won the lottery in Canada, you’re required to share your identity. The problem is that once everyone knows who you are, they’re going to want a share of your winnings. From friends and family to strangers and scammers, everyone wants a cut. And because you have to share your identity to claim your prize, there’s no hiding that you’ve won.

The clear solution to keep all lottery winners safe is to hide their identities, so why is it that we don’t protect lottery winners’ anonymity?

The Argument Against Anonymity

There are a couple of reasons that lotteries want to share winners’ identities. One is to legitimize the lottery. Gary Grief, a chairman of MUSL, states that sharing winners’ identities “is a positive thing to reinforce to players that real people do win and that those real people don’t work for the lottery or aren’t involved in the lottery.” By publicly showing who the winners are, the public can see that the lottery isn’t fixed in any way. This allows players to trust that the lotteries are legitimate.

The second reason is that by sharing winners’ identities, it’s harder to scam the lottery. When you don’t know who’s winning, it becomes easier for individuals to fix the lottery. For example, the lottery fraudster Eddie Tipton was able to rig multiple lotteries over the span of a decade. What eventually caused Tipton was to be caught was a lottery policy on anonymity. Check out this article to find out more on Tipton’s scam and how he was caught.

The Rules in Canada and Abroad

The rules surrounding lottery wins differs in different countries. For example, in the United States, some states allow winners to stay anonymous while others completely outlaw it. In some other countries you have to attend a photo shoot but can hide your identity using a mask. To learn more about this, check out our post on the Jamaican lottery winner who claimed her prize wearing a mask.

In Canada, however, lottery winners are required by law to share their identity no matter which lottery they’ve won. In order to claim your prize money you have to participate in a photo shoot showing your face and provide your name and home municipality. This information can then be shared in the media for everyone to see.

Have you recently won the lottery? Are you unsure what to do? To learn more about what you should do after winning the lottery, check out our post Advice for Lottery Winners in Canada.

Author: Danielle Mohr

Danielle is a professional copywriter and editor who provides services to Jackpot Lawyer on a contract basis. She has a broad range of experience in business marketing and is highly motivated to help businesses generate leads, increase sales, and promote growth.

Danielle has worked on websites, corporate blogs, and manuals for professionals, trades, government-funded organizations, and international corporations. Her work is driven by a strong passion for continued learning and she enjoys the challenge that comes with forging connections in the digital realm.

Danielle is the owner of Fine Point Writing & Editing based in Edmonton, Alberta.


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