Lottery; disclosure of identity of winners. (HB1650)

Introduced By

Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan) with support from co-patron Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Lottery Law; disclosure of a lottery winner's identity. Prohibits the Virginia Lottery from disclosing information about individual winners whose prize exceeds $10 million, and exempts such information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), unless the winner consents to disclosure. Under FOIA, disclosure of the winner's name, hometown, and amount won is currently mandatory. This bill is identical to SB 1060. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


11/27/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19101474D
11/27/2018Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/08/2019Assigned GL sub: Subcommittee #3
01/09/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1650)
01/10/2019House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/10/2019Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 1-N)
01/17/2019Reported from General Laws with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2019Committee substitute printed 19104476D-H1
01/18/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1650H1)
01/21/2019Read first time
01/22/2019Read second time
01/22/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19104476D-H1
01/22/2019Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1650H1
01/23/2019Read third time and passed House (95-Y 1-N)
01/23/2019VOTE: PASSAGE (95-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2019Reconsideration of passage agreed to by House
01/23/2019Passed House (95-Y 0-N)
01/23/2019VOTE: PASSAGE #2 (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2019Constitutional reading dispensed
01/24/2019Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/11/2019Reported from General Laws and Technology with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2019Committee substitute printed 19106691D-S1
02/12/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1650S1)
02/13/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2019Read third time
02/14/2019Reading of substitute waived
02/14/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19106691D-S1
02/14/2019Passed by for the day
02/15/2019Read third time
02/15/2019Engrossment reconsidered by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2019Committee substitute rejected 19106691D-S1
02/15/2019Passed Senate (34-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1650ER)
02/20/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1650ER)
02/20/2019Signed by Speaker
02/20/2019Signed by President
02/27/2019Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on February 27, 2019
02/27/2019G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 26, 2019
03/08/2019G Approved by Governor-Chapter 247 (effective 7/1/19)
03/08/2019G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0247)


Sean writes:

I believe this is a very good thing and should be passed and become a law. In modern society it is easy to find information about someone if you look hard enough, this can lead to security problems in the future for a big jackpot winner. There are methods online to find information about a person so you can eventually find phone numbers and home addresses of the winner and family. The safety of the lottery players is the biggest concern with the winners. Past lottery winners, even here in Virginia still get harassed 10 years after they have won. Some winners have had to move multiple times and change phone numbers just as much. Traveling anywhere in the world may also be a problem because there is access to the internet all over the world and people will know you depending on how much you win, you could become a target in another country and not even know it. Although winning is a blessing, it can still be very stressful the first year having to manage a dramatic change in your lifestyle, all the people you will be working with to ensure you manage the money properly and much more. The ability to remain anonymous makes the whole process a-lot easier, safer, and ensures the person can life a safe life and still live like a normal human if they chose to. The winner can still integrate with the normal society without having a spotlight on them.

The amount of people winning $10 million or more is so minimal it wouldn’t really have an impact on anything. Sales wouldn’t be impacted, they could possibly increase because they will have another incentive to play. Most winners, if not all would chose to remain anonymous and would also agree that others should as well. If you look at other states that allow bigger winners to remain anonymous you will see that no one has chosen to release their information. If there was a poll on this subject I can almost guarantee that it would be in favor of having the ability to remain anonymous. You can be driving next to the winner and never even know, most will agree this is a good thing.

Mary D. Devoy writes:

March 2018: Mystery $560 million Powerball winner can remain a mystery, judge rules

David Johnson writes:

This is a good idea, I believe it should be like this everywhere in the US. This just gives people the security they should have when winning such a big amount of money.
I think it should be up to the person if they want to be public with it or not.

John Sierra writes:

I think this should be an option everywhere the lottery is played. The main thing is security after winning, you never really know what can happen.

Karen Killian writes:

I support the principal of anonymity, but only if coupled with robust internal and independent auditing that will perform analytics to detect potential fraud. This much money plus complete secrecy is an invitation to bad actors.