From an editorial in the (Jacksonville) Daily News on Monday:
Government and secrecy don’t mix.
That’s our message to Rep. Darren Jackson of Wake County, who wants to keep you in the dark about who wins the North Carolina lottery.
State law says the names of lottery winners and the amount of their winnings are public information. Jackson want to change the law so that secrecy is required unless winners consent otherwise.
He said some winners – his dad is one – have told him they don’t like being hounded by solicitors once word is out that they have hit the lottery.
That’s no reason to change the law — and there are an abundance of reasons to keep the law as it now stands.
For starters, anyone who buys a lottery ticket does so voluntarily. You know the rules going in. If you win, people will know. You take the chance that some people will be after you to get a piece of your winnings ranging from legitimate investment folks to a sponging family member.
On the flip side, keeping the sunshine on lottery winners protects this government-run gambling operation from suspicion of wrong-doing.
Wherever there is secrecy, there is opportunity for fraud and corruption. Without it, you are left to take some insider’s word that all is above board and that the winnings are being awarded as promised.
Even lottery officials oppose the bill. Good for them.