The debate about releasing winners’ names centers on the balance that needs to be struck regarding the right to privacy and transparency. If the winners’ names are released, they may be harassed or pestered by people who want to ask for dole-outs or worse, get robbed. If winners’ names are not released then who can say if anybody really won?
Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, may just have found a compromise that effectively address both concerns. He has just introduced a new version of his bill which originally asked that the names of all winners of $600 or more in the Idaho Lottery be kept under wraps. The new version allows the names of all such winners to be published, but only after six months have passed. And those names will only be given out if somebody files public records requests.
The beauty of the idea is that after six months, most of the interest would have waned and/or the winners would have already made arrangements to protect their security. The could move to another address, for example. The lawmaker admitted that the issue was brought to his attention by a constituent who won a substantial sum in the lottery.