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Names of big Minnesota Lottery winners to be kept private thanks to new law

The Minnesota Legislature passed the bill unanimously and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law this week.

Minnesotans who win big while playing the Minnesota Lottery will be able to keep their names private under legislation Gov. Tim Walz signed into law on Friday.

The new law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, makes the names of those who win more than $10,000 in the Minnesota Lottery private data. It also makes the winners of second-chance drawings for more than $10,000 private data. 

Lawmakers who sponsored the bipartisan bill said it protects lottery winners, noting winners in other states have been robbed, have been victims of scams and even killed after their names were made public, Session Daily said. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously.

Prior to this new law, the names of winners of games like the Powerball and Megamillions were made public, as were their city, prize amount and where the ticket was purchased. 

The Minnesota Lottery uses that information for promotional purposes on its website and social media. Though lottery officials told the Minnesota Legislature earlier this year they've proactively taken steps to limit privacy concerns, such as only using a winner's first name and not sharing their photo on the website or social media, Session Daily said.

The new law does allow the lottery winner to give written consent to the Minnesota Lottery to release their name. 

Minnesota joins at least 11 other states that have similar laws to protect lottery winners' privacy, the publication notes.

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