Whenever someone wins a lottery, the first question asked is who won it.
A lottery winner in Michigan won a $1.05 billion Mega Millions prize and people wanted to know the identity of the winner. Although it is still not known as to who won it but eventually people will find out. This is because the state law demands the identity of the winner to be revealed for the purposes of public record.
However, this law might change soon.
Michigan state representative Pat Outman from R-Six Lakes introduced Bill 4218 which permits Michigan winners of the multi-state lotteries to remain anonymous.
Such a law would provide safety to the winners. It would also ensure protection from unwanted and possibly threatening attention. The State representative said in a statement that under the proposed law, winners will have a choice to reveal their identity or not. He added that giving a privacy option makes people feel more secure while preventing undue harassment. At the same time, it saves them from a flood of requests for loans, funds, or donations.
Being publicly identified in a lottery win is dangerous and puts the winner’s safety at risk. In November 2015, Craigory Burch won a jackpot of $434,272 in the Georgia lottery and two months later he was found murdered in his home. He was apparently killed by 7 masked men. According to his family, the public announcement of his win made him a target.
With such incidents taking place, the proposed bill is sure to help.
Presently, only seven states permit lottery winners to remain anonymous. Amongst these states are Kansas, Maryland, Delaware, North Dakota, Texas, South Carolina, and Ohio. While some six states allow you to maintain anonymity by forming a trust to claim the prize.
If one wants to remain anonymous about a lottery win, then it’s advisable to research the rules for the relevant state. Your state might be one of those that gives an option to claim the winning amount under a trust. The winner will have to create a trust and then the money claimed will be in the name of that specific trust. The best people to guide in this regard are accountants, tax lawyers, and trust and estate lawyers.
In other Michigan lottery news, a $ 1.05 billion Mega Millions ticket has still not been claimed. The ticket was purchased from a grocery store outside of Detroit.
Players should check their tickets, otherwise the prize goes unclaimed. In 2019, in Hartland, a winning ticket worth $1 million was sold in Hartland that hasn’t been claimed to date. The winner never came forward to claim the winning amount. Eventually, the amount was donated to the School Aid Fund of the state.
A friendly reminder for players, the time to claim the prize starts running from the date of the draw and expires in 180 days. However, this rule may differ state to state.