Proposed Ga. Bill: Donate Percentage of Lottery Winnings, Stay Anonymous

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The record-breaking Powerball jackpot has given new life to a proposed bill in the Georgia General Assembly that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

Senator Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, filed the bill in 2015, but he said lawmakers have expressed renewed curiosity now that the Powerball jackpot is an estimated $1.4 billion for Wednesday's drawing.

"There's a higher level of interest because they're seeing what the value would be when you get these very large jackpots," said McKoon.  "So, I'm thinking maybe we've got a little more momentum on that one."

Senate Bill 179 would allow a winner to remain anonymous if they send a written request to the Georgia Lottery Corporation and donate 25 percent of his or her winnings to the HOPE Scholarship fund.

"$1.3 billion on the line, you don't want aunts and uncles coming out of the woodwork.  Why not you know, contribute a little bit of that money to buy yourself the anonymity?  You know, seems like a good idea to me," McKoon explained.

Even though Powerball is a multi-state lottery, McKoon said the law would still apply because the Georgia lottery awards the prizes to winners in the Peach State. 

Some lawmakers thinks the bill's 25 percent price tag is too stiff.  McKoon said he is willing to lower that percentage in order to pass the legislation.