“Winston-Salem resident David Settle has won three times since 2010 playing a state lottery scratch-off game.” He’s won $100,000 twice and split a $3 million prize with his wife.
Amazing, huh? What are the odds?
Under legislation proposed in the state House — and not going anywhere this year, thank goodness — the public wouldn’t get to know that Settle has won three times or that anyone has won, unless the winner permits it.
This proposed change – by a Wake County Democrat – is just the latest silliness to come out of Raleigh this session. But it’s dangerous just the same. Right now, the names of lottery winners must be disclosed to the public. The thinking is that public disclosure helps ensure both honesty within the system and the credibility of the system.
The state is “giving away” millions of dollars to individuals. If the names of the recipients are kept secret, who knows what kinds of shenanigans would occur? And if you don’t think they would occur, you haven’t been following state politics for long.
Citizens ought to be skeptical whenever a legislator wants to hide the public’s business from the public.
The bill’s sponsor said he realized that lottery winners might be targets of scam artists. Well, yes. So
are is everyone. In fact, some might say that the lottery itself is a bit of a scam, given your chances of winning a big jackpot are one-in-a-kazillion.