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Lottery winners info a public record

A menu of technical corrections to the state's lottery law would formalize what information about lottery winners is public record.

The lottery, relying on banking laws, has already determined that basic information about a lottery winner — name, residence, how much they won — is public. After all, lottery officials want potential players to hear about all big wins.

Included in the bill, which was supported by lottery officials, is a provision that makes public a winner's name, city and state of residence, game played, amount won and date won. The bill states that the lottery would have to disclose the nominal prize amount, the cash payment and the amount paid after taxes.

The House voted for the bill 110 to 4 Monday night and will have to vote on it again before the bill moves to the Senate.

The bill also clarifies how annual payments would be handled if a winner dies. It clarifies the law to allow the lottery to participate in a Department of Revenue's system of checking winners against those who owe the government money. The lottery is already using the system and has collected $1.3 million from lottery winners who owe back taxes, delinquent child support payments or overdue student loans.

The bill prompts a heated exchange after the jump.

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Rep. Cary Allred rose to offer an amendment that would ensure 40 percent of lottery proceeds go to school construction. Allred, a Burlington Republican, began speaking about his disappointment in the lottery, particularly in its returns to Alamance County when House Speaker Joe Hackney interrupted him.

"This is not a general discussion of the state lottery," Hackney said.

Allred eventually sat down.

House Republican Leader Paul Stam then rose to support the bill. As Stam explained, the bill's public records section requires lottery officials to disclose that jackpots aren't necessarily as big as advertised.

Allred rose to challenge Stam's comments, an unusual instance of a rank-and-file member challenging the leader of his party.

"You call me down for whether I was talking about the bill or not," Allred said to Hackney. "Is the gentleman from Apex discussing the bill?"

Hackney allowed Stam to continue and Allred didn't speak again for the rest of the session.


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