I always wondered what I’d do if I’d won the big jackpot, be it Mega Millions, Powerball, Pick 6, whatever. Of course, it’s all in the dreaming stage.

I think the first thing I’d want to do is NOT tell anyone. I'd Figure out what I’d have to do with the money first, then tell those close to me about my good fortune.

Well, apparently the Lottery Commission has the right to publicize the names, addresses, and pictures of lottery winners.

However there’s the suggestion of a bill proposed by Assemblyman Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli that would protect the identity of lottery winners for up to a year.

According to this:

Currently the State Lottery may immediately use the names, home towns, prize amount and photographs of winners. A winner’s name, town, and county are also available through a formal request under the Open Public Records Act. The bill also provides an exemption from such disclosure for the same one-year period.

“If you win the lottery and you have a lot of unwanted attention from people you don’t know, the potential to be scammed, to be abused probably becomes greater during that early period,” explains Burzichelli. “A winner is not necessarily going to be prepared for the onslaught of attention that’s going to come if their name is immediately released. It is a life-changing event.”

Many lottery winners would like to remain anonymous forever, but the statute that originally allowed New Jersey to have a lottery included a provision that winners must be identified. The reason behind the clause is to ensure transparency and preserve the integrity of the lottery.

Referring to his legislation,. Burzichelli says, “This idea is designed to give people some shield and some protection from unwanted attention at least for a year’s period of time to give the individual a chance to get their feet under them and be better prepared to handle what will come when the public knows that they have won this great deal of money.”

Makes sense because that’s exactly what I thought too.

Not getting letters from far off Princes who’ve run out of money; or knocks on the door from real estate agents trying to sell me swamp land in the bayou.

I like it, now if only I could take advantage of it!

Do you like the idea of a bill that would allow you to protect your identity for up to a year if you won the lottery?