Arizona becomes latest state to shield lottery winners’ names
PHOENIX — Arizona joined a growing number of states allowing winners of big lottery jackpots to stay anonymous Wednesday after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation letting winners of jackpots of $100,000 or more request that their names not be made public.
The move comes as privacy concerns are increasingly trumping lottery groups’ wishes to publicize winners to boost sales and show that the games are fair.
Four years ago, just five states allowed anonymous winners, but the number has now grown to at least 10. A handful of others allow trusts to claim prizes.
Ducey’s spokesman, Patrick Ptak, said in a statement that the new law will protect Arizonans’ privacy rights while maintaining current safeguards that ensure the integrity of the Arizona Lottery.
“Winning the lottery shouldn’t come at the expense of someone’s privacy or safety,” Ptak said.
Just two weeks ago, New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took the opposite view and refused to sign a similar measure in order to prioritize transparency.
“To be sure, the governor is clear about the concerns raised by proponents, i.e., that certain bad actors could take advantage of lottery winners if their names are made public,” spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said in a statement last week. But “New Mexicans should have every confidence in the games run by the lottery.”
At least eight state legislatures considered measures shielding winners’ names this year, and governors in Virginia and Arizona have signed theirs into law.
Republican state Rep. Nancy Barto introduced the Arizona measure, saying she wanted to protect winners from harassment or worse if their names became public. Current state law allowed Arizona winners to remain anonymous for 90 days.
Last week, a spokesman for the Arizona Lottery said it was important for winners to be named to maintain transparency and the integrity of the system. The lottery didn’t take an official position on the bill as it worked its way through the Legislature under state policy.
“The only way the public has an absolute guarantee of integrity as far as real people winning these prizes is to be able to know who wins these prizes,” state lottery spokesman John Gilliland said.
Arizona on Wednesday became the latest state to allow winners of big lottery jackpots to stay anonymous. The move comes amid privacy concerns.
HOW TO PLAY MEGA MILLIONS
What is Mega Millions?
Mega Millions is a draw game where the goal is to match your numbers, with the winning numbers selected in the drawing to win cash prizes. There are nine ways to win!
Ticket Price: $2
Drawings: Tuesday and Friday
What is Megaplier?
Megaplier multiplies your winnings*** by 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. Mark the Megaplier box or ask the cashier for the Megaplier option when you purchase your ticket. The Megaplier number is randomly selected just before each drawing.
Additional Cost: $1 per game
How to Purchase Tickets and Play
How to Purchase a Ticket
Find an Arizona Lottery retailer. Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per game and are available for purchase at the counter of Arizona Lottery Retailers and at Arizona Lottery vending machines. Tickets cannot be purchased online.
How to Choose Your Numbers
There are three ways to choose your numbers:
To let the computer select the numbers for you, choose a Quick Pick on the vending machine or tell the cashier you want a Quick Pick at the time of your purchase.
To choose your own numbers, fill out a selection slip or tell the cashier which six numbers you would like to select:
- Five white numbers (1 – 70)
- One Mega Ball number (1 – 25)
You can also choose your own numbers for just the white numbers or just the Mega Ball number, and use Quick Pick for the other number(s).
How to Check the Winning Numbers**
You can find the winning numbers online, or you can check your tickets by using a ticket scanner at an Arizona Lottery retailer or by calling the Winning Numbers Hotline:
- Phoenix: 480.829.7425
- Tucson: 520.325.9141
- All Other Areas: 800.499.3798
How to Claim Your Winnings
All Arizona Lottery retailers will redeem prizes up to $100, and may redeem prizes up to $599. Find a Location
Redeem your prize by completing a Winner’s Claim Form, then mailing it or bringing it to the Phoenix or Tucson Arizona Lottery office. See our Winner’s Brochure to learn more.
Jackpot Payment Options
If you win the jackpot, you have 60 days to choose a payment option:
- 30-year annuity
- Lump-sum cash payment – which will be approximately half the amount of the announced jackpot
If you do not select cash or annuity within the 60 days, your prize will be paid as an annuity.
Mega Millions FAQs
What are the odds of winning Mega Millions?
The overall odds of winning a cash prize are approximately 1 in 24.
When are Mega Millions drawings held?
Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday evenings.
How often can I play my numbers?
You can play your numbers for up to 10 consecutive drawing dates on the same ticket. Just tell the cashier at the time of your purchase or mark the Multi Draw box on your selection slip.
How long do I have to claim a prize?
For draw game tickets, 180 days from the date of the draw. Once a ticket has expired, it cannot be redeemed even if it is a winner.
What happens if multiple people win the jackpot?
The players will share the jackpot in equal amounts.
*Sales stop on draw nights at 6:59 p.m. Arizona time from the second Sunday in March through the first Saturday in November and at 7:59 p.m. Arizona time from the first Sunday in November through the second Saturday in March.
**The Arizona State Lottery official audited records of the numbers that were drawn will determine the winner rather than the numbers televised or published on the web. Drawing prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing.
***Megaplier does not apply to the jackpot.
All sales are final. Drawing game tickets cannot be voided.
HOW TO PLAY MEGA MILLIONS What is Mega Millions? Mega Millions is a draw game where the goal is to match your numbers, with the winning numbers selected in the drawing to win cash prizes.