New Jersey Giving Lottery Winners Chance to Remain Anonymous

new jersey lottery
Mike Weirsky, who won a $273 million mega Millions jackpot, is interviewed following a news conference in Trenton, N.J., last March. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Lottery winners in New Jersey will have the option to remain anonymous under a new law Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed Tuesday.

The law directs the state lottery commission to set regulations permitting lottery players to keep their identities secret.

It takes effect immediately, but it’s unclear how long it would take for the regulations to be written.

New Jersey is joining a growing list of states to permit lottery winners to remain anonymous. Last year, Arizona and Virginia joined at least eight other states allowing the practice.

The New Jersey law’s sponsors say the bill is aimed at addressing what they called the “lottery curse.”

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement that the curse amounts to harassment and threats that can happen after winners’ identities become public.

“The winners should have the option of remaining anonymous if they want to stay out of the limelight and away from unwanted attention,” Sweeney said.

New Jersey’s bill passed the Democrat-led Legislature unanimously. Opponents argue requiring winners’ names to be public promotes transparency.

Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas permit also permit anonymity.

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