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As I See It

Lottery winners should be able to stay anonymous

Scott Robert Shaw



You may imagine that if you won the lottery, you wouldn’t have anything to worry about anymore. That is not true for a variety of reasons, because as we’ve been told, money won’t buy you happiness. Even if it will buy you the car to go look for it. But becoming suddenly, and publicly, very wealthy can bring plenty of pressures. Just ask Manuel Franco, Wisconsin’s newest millionaire, winner of a $768 million Powerball jackpot. He came forward last week to claim his prize. He didn’t have to smile for the cameras which he chose to do. But we were going to learn his identity anyway. Wisconsin law prevents lottery jackpot winners from remaining anonymous. At least for now. A handful of lawmakers are proposing joining some other states and allowing lottery jackpot winners to remain anonymous. That makes sense. Why should you lose your right to privacy just because you win the lottery? The lottery folks love those pictures of winners grinning while holding a big check. It shows people really do win. But it also attracts unwanted solicitations, aggressive sales pitches, charitable requests and scam artists. So much for nothing to worry about. It may be hard to feel sorry for these instant millionaires, but wouldn’t you want your privacy if you finally hit it big?

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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