Lottery Winner Fights State Law To Keep Identity Private
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you won the lottery, would you want to keep it a secret and stay anonymous?
That’s what a woman who won more than half a billion dollars is fighting to do, but you might be surprised that most states, including Pennsylvania, do not protect the privacy of lottery winners.
In January, a woman in New Hampshire won $560 million in the Powerball lottery. She signed the back of her ticket, but didn’t realize that when she signed it, her name was about to go public.
Her lawyers sued the Lottery Commission, attempting to keep her identity private, in part, because they say her safety would be in jeopardy.
New Hampshire Lottery officials argued the state’s right-to-know law allowed them to reveal her name.
A judge ruled Monday the woman can keep her identity private because the judge had no doubt that she would suffer an alarming amount of harassment and solicitation.
You might be surprised to know the Pennsylvania Lottery wouldn’t protect your privacy either.
“As in most states, Pennsylvania Lottery winners cannot remain anonymous and certain winner information is made public under the state’s Open Records law. This assures the public that Lottery winners are real people and that the Lottery operates with integrity and transparency,” the Lottery said.
At one point, former state Rep. Ted Harhai, of Westmoreland County, tried to challenge that. He twice introduced legislation that would have allowed lottery winners to keep their identities private, but it never went anywhere in Harrisburg.
For now, you can’t stop the Pennsylvania Lottery from releasing your information. To give people some privacy, however, on its website, it only lists your first name and an initial for your last name, along with your county and winnings.
As for the woman in New Hampshire, by not cashing in right away and fighting for her privacy in court, she lost $15,000 a day, or half $1 million a month, in interest.If you won the lottery, would you want to keep it a secret and stay anonymous?
Bonuses, promotions and special offers may be offered for PA iLottery at the Pennsylvania Lottery’s sole discretion. In order to participate in a bonus, promotion or special offer offered for PA iLottery, an individual is required to be 18 years of age; have a valid and verified account through PA iLottery; have accepted, acknowledged and agreed to the Terms and Conditions and End User License Agreement (“Terms and Conditions”) for participation in PA iLottery; and must not be self-excluded or participating in a cool-off period through PAiLottery.com.
The following is an overview of the terms and conditions (“Bonus Policy”) associated with bonuses and promotions offered for PA iLottery. Please be advised that individual bonuses, promotions and special offers may be governed by specific rules. However, if there is a conflict between the specific rules for a bonus, promotion or special offering and this Bonus Policy, the specific rules shall prevail. In the event there is a conflict between the specific rules for a bonus, promotion or special offering and the Terms and Conditions for PA iLottery, the Terms and Conditions shall prevail.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend a bonus, promotion or special offer at any time and for any reason.
While other requirements and restrictions will apply, an individual is required to meet all of the following threshold requirements to participate in Promotions offered related to PA iLottery and through PAiLottery.com:
- The individual must be 18 years of age or older.
- The individual must be a registered VIP Players Club member with a PA iLottery account. To become a VIP Players Club member and become a registered PA iLottery player, visit http://www.pailottery.com. Becoming a VIP Players Club member and registered iLottery player is free.
- The individual must have accepted, acknowledged and agreed to the Terms and Conditions and End User License Agreement (“Terms and Conditions”) for participation in PA iLottery.
- The individual must be within the geographical boundaries of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to place any wagers required as part of a Promotion.
Promotion Rules and Requirements
The following is an overview of rules and requirements that apply to all Promotions. These rules and requirements are applicable to every Promotion offered by the Pennsylvania Lottery for PA iLottery and through PAiLottery.com, unless the rules and requirements associated with a specific Promotion explicitly state otherwise.
- Each Promotion is only available once per PA iLottery account, unless otherwise specifically stated.
- Unless otherwise specifically stated, a PA iLottery account holder (also referred to herein as a “player”) must enable Promotions in order to qualify for them. Most Promotions can be enabled through the My Bonuses section of the PA iLottery account. Other Promotions may require a code be entered. If a code is required, it must be entered at the time of the qualifying deposit.
- To be eligible for a Promotion, a PA iLottery account holder may be required to meet certain wagering or funding requirements as described in the requirements for a specific Promotion.
- Unless otherwise specifically stated, all iLottery games shall be eligible for a Promotion, including games introduced after the beginning of the Promotion.
- A Promotion may not be used in combination with any other Promotion offered through PA iLottery.
- Wagers placed to satisfy the wagering requirements for one Promotion may not contribute to satisfying the wagering requirements of any other Promotion.
- Promotional awards, unless otherwise specifically stated, will be issued in Bonus Money. Bonus Money does not constitute cash.
- If a player requests a withdrawal from their iLottery account prior to fulfilling wagering requirements specific to a Promotion, the request may result in forfeiture of the remaining balance of Bonus Money.
- For any wager placed while a Promotion is active, funds are deducted from the PA iLottery account holder’s cash balance, unless there is no cash available in the PA iLottery account holder’s account.
- Wagering and/or funding requirements for a Promotion must be met prior to the date specified in the specific requirements for a Promotion (“Expiration Date”). If the wagering and/or funding requirements are not met prior to the Expiration Date, Bonus Money and any winnings generated from the wagering of such Bonus Money will be forfeited.
- Cancellation of a Promotion prior to meeting the wagering and/or funding requirements for that Promotion will result in the forfeiture of any Promotion award, prize or Bonus money and any winnings derived therefrom.
- Promotion awards, including Bonus Money, cannot be withdrawn until the wagering and/or funding requirements for that specific Promotion are satisfied.
- Wagering on Draw Games (including Mega Millions and Powerball) may be performed using Bonus Money. Prizes won on Draw Games, where the wager was performed with Bonus Money, will be paid out in cash, regardless of the remaining play through requirements on the Bonus Money used to conduct the wager.
- The Lottery is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected entries not entered into a Promotion.
- The Lottery is not responsible for a PA iLottery account holder’s failure to receive notice of a Promotion.
- The Lottery is not responsible for a PA iLottery account holder’s failure to properly claim or enter a Promotion because of incompatible internet browsers, mobile lottery application failure or other technical issues.
- Employees of the Pennsylvania Lottery, MARC USA, MUSL, Scientific Games International, MDI Entertainment, LLC, and their subcontractors, or a spouse, child, brother, sister or parent residing as a member of the same household in the principle place of residence of any such person are not eligible to participate in a Promotion. Offer(s) void where prohibited or restricted.
- A PA iLottery account holder who has self-excluded from iLottery is ineligible to participate in the Promotion or to receive any Bonus Money, award or prize associated with a Promotion unless and until the self-exclusion period has expired and the player is reinstated.
- A PA iLottery account holder who elected to participate in a Cool-Off Period is ineligible to participate in a Promotion or to receive any Bonus Money, award or prize associated with a Promotion unless and until the Cool-Off period has expired.
- A PA iLottery account holder who elected to establish responsible gaming limits through PAiLottery.com, including deposit limits, spend limits and time-based limits, may be ineligible to participate in a Promotion or to receive any Bonus Money, award or prize associated with a Promotion if participation in the Promotion exceeds the iLottery account holder’s established gaming limits.
- Any individual who closes their PA iLottery account prior to the Expiration Date for a specific Promotion or before the award, prize or Bonus Money is credited to the player’s account will disqualify the player from the Promotion and the player will not be eligible to receive an award, prize or Bonus Money in the Promotion.
- The Pennsylvania Lottery reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend a Promotion and change these rules if a Promotion cannot be conducted as planned due to errors in these rules or advertising, unauthorized intervention, tampering, fraud, technical errors, viruses, worms, bugs, or any other cause beyond the control of the Pennsylvania Lottery or its vendor(s) that, in the Pennsylvania Lottery’s sole judgment, could corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Promotion.
- All entries shall be subject to verification by the Pennsylvania Lottery.
- The Pennsylvania Lottery reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify a participant found to be tampering with the operation of the Promotion or to be acting in violation of these rules, iLottery Terms and Conditions, or applicable law.
- Promotions are governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and by the iLottery Terms and Conditions, which must be agreed to prior to participation in a Promotion. Applicable laws and regulations apply.
- A winning player is responsible for all taxes arising from or in connection with any prize or award won through participation in a Promotion.
- Promotion offers and Promotion codes are not transferrable.
- Prizes, Bonus Money or awards received as a result of participation in a Promotion are not transferable.
- Games played in demo mode are excluded from Promotions.
- Any references to time of day in rules for a Promotion refers to Eastern Prevailing Time.
- Other restrictions may apply.
Examples of the Types of Bonuses or Promotions that May be Offered through PA iLottery
Details of each Promotion offered for PA iLottery and through PA iLottery.com will appear on a web page or in an email specific to the Promotion and will include: wagering and/or funding requirements for the Promotion; instructions on how to claim or participate in the Promotion; expiration date of the Promotion; expiration date of any Bonus Money awarded as part of the Promotion; any games that must be played to participate in the Promotion; and any other details relevant to the Promotion. The following are descriptions of general categories of Promotions that may be offered through PA iLottery and PAiLottery.com:
Deposit Bonus: Deposit Bonus promotions require a PA iLottery account holder to deposit a specific amount of money into their account during a specified period of time. The PA iLottery account holder is required to play through the qualifying deposit and/or Bonus Money specified number of times before the Bonus Money specific to the Promotion will be converted to cash.
Cashback Bonus: Cashback Bonus promotions require the PA iLottery account holder to play a specific game or games during a specified period of time. A PA iLottery account holder can earn Bonus Money up to a specified dollar based on the account holder’s Net Loss (as defined herein) during the promotional period. Please see the additional information below regarding Cashback Bonuses.
Prize Draw: Prize Draw promotions require the PA iLottery account holder to engage in a specified activity, such as making a qualifying deposit or playing a specific game, during a specified period of time. Based on participation in the specified activity, the player can earn an entry or entries into a drawing that includes various prizes, such as Bonus Money or physical prizes. Please see the additional information below regarding Prize Draw Promotions.
Bonus Share: Bonus share promotions require PA iLottery account holders to play a specific game or games during a specified time period to earn a share of a designated amount of Bonus Money to be split among qualifying players.
Bonus Money: In Bonus Money promotions, the PA iLottery account holder is awarded Bonus Money if the account holder enables the promotion. The player will be required to meet specified wagering and/or funding requirements.
Additional Rules and Requirements Specific to Cashback Bonus Promotions
In addition to the other rules and requirements, as set forth herein, there are rules and requirements specific to Cashback Bonus Promotions. The following is an overview of those additional rules and requirements only applicable to Cashback Bonus Promotions. These rules and requirements are applicable to every Cashback Bonus Promotion offered by the Pennsylvania Lottery for PA iLottery and through PAiLottery.com, unless the requirements associated with a specific Promotion specifically state otherwise.
- “Net Loss” is equal to the sum of a player’s Cash Wagering minus the sum of the player’s cash winnings during the promotional period as set forth in the specific rules for each Cashback Bonus Promotion. A Net Loss for any Cashback Bonus Promotion must be greater than $0.
- “Cash Wagering” is defined to include wagering of cash, excluding Bonus Money, during the promotional period.
- “Cash Winnings” is defined to include all cash won by a player from their cash wagers conducted placed during the promotional period. Wagers placed using Bonus Money are excluded from Cash Winnings.
- Once Bonus Money is converted to cash, following the fulfillment of wagering requirements for the applicable promotion. Wagering activities with the converted funds will apply to Cash Wagering and Net Loss calculations during the promotional period.
- Promotional periods, as referenced herein, will be set forth in the specific rules for each Cashback Bonus Promotion.
Additional Rules and Requirements Specific to Prize Draw Promotions
In addition to the other rules and requirements, as set forth herein, there are rules and requirements specific to Prize Draw Promotions. The following is an overview of those additional rules and requirements only applicable to Prize Draw Promotions. These rules and requirements are applicable to every Prize Draw Promotion offered by the Pennsylvania Lottery through PA iLottery and PAiLottery.com, unless the requirements associated with a specific Promotion specifically state otherwise.
- The Lottery will conduct one drawing from among all of the qualifying PA iLottery account holders (“entrants”).
- A computer-generated randomizer will be used to select the winning entrants from among the qualifying PA iLottery account holders.
- Each Prize Draw Promotion will include a minimum of one prize. The maximum number of prizes to be awarded will be set forth in specific Prize Draw Promotion rules.
- Winning entrants will be notified of their prizes via email within three (3) business days of the drawing date set forth in the specific Prize Draw Promotion rules.
- Prizes awarded will be posted to the winning entrants’ PA iLottery accounts within three (3) business days of the drawing date set forth in the specific Prize Draw Promotion rules.
- The odds of a qualifying PA iLottery account holder being selected as a winning entrant in a Prize Draw Promotion depends upon the number of qualifying PA iLottery account holders participating in the specific Prize Draw Promotion.
- Prize Draw Promotion entrants may only win the prize for which they are first selected in that specific Prize Draw Promotion. Subsequent entries, from the same entrant, selected in the drawing will be disqualified, even if entered under separate PA iLottery accounts, and a replacement entry will be selected.
PA iLottery is operated by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which is committed to promoting responsible play and supports the state and national councils on problem gambling. We work to generate funding to benefit older Pennsylvanians in a socially responsible way.
If compulsive gambling is a concern for you or someone that you care about, please call 1-800-GAMBLER for confidential assistance. Know the signs. Have the conversation.
Please play responsibly.
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PA iLottery, toll-free at 1-833-530-PLAY (7529)
The Pennsylvania Lottery. Benefits Older Pennsylvanians. Every Day.
1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite One, Middletown, PA 17057
Players must be 18 years or older and located within Pennsylvania at time of play.
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PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE: 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537)
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