1. You might argue that auditors and other government officials would enforce integrity. However, it would be trivial to bribe them. In addition, without total transparency you couldn't have confidence in what they're saying, anyway. It's too easy for them to lie.
2. Perhaps the real winners name would be in some book somewhere, e.g. a tax log, but the real name is out of public sight. This would also be easy to rig. If it's anonymous what's stopping the lottery commission and state government from creating a fake winner?
3. Perhaps the biggest argument in favor of a pro-anonymous lottery is that you already can be anonymous by setting up a trust. This is true, but doesn't answer the question -- how do you know it's legit?
Maybe we should just cap the winnings at 10K, an amount that people wouldn't bug you so much for and change the odds such that the revenue the state gets is the same.
Then everyone wins, no? So, in this case, instead of a single winner of 580M you could've had 60 thousand people win 10K instead. Sounds pretty good. An amount high enough that you'd give it a shot for a buck, but not so high that you'd annoy them if they won.
This seems like a very casual way to dismiss governmental integrity. Can't you apply this argument to any financial gain you could get from the government? e.g. "You might argue that auditors and other government officials would force people to pay taxes. However, it would be trivial to bribe them."
Transparency is a good way of preventing corruption. I don't have a citation off hand, but I'm pretty confident that this is true. I'll dig one up if you're curious.
Thinking about what the collusion would look like here, I think faking the drawing (which is a well-publicized event) is more difficult than having a ticket printed after the numbers are drawn. In the latter case, who has to be "in on it" for it to succeed? It seems like an audit trail on each ticket would be sufficient, proving the time that it was purchased. It seems like this would require a lot of forged evidence in order to successfully pull off that scheme, and it doesn't require that the audit log be publicly disclosed.
Or at least, who is the winner of the lottery hidden from? Is it hidden from the IRS? Is it hidden from the disbursement department at the lottery? Is it hidden from the issuer of the original lottery ticket? These all represent groups of people who you would have to buy out in order to successfully collude.
This logic is flawed. Any time you hear about someone getting caught, there are additional instances in which someone got away with it. You don’t read about a murderer getting caught and conclude that the problem of murder is not in effect.
Government is a group of humans, we know that human nature says probabilistically that anything with lots of value/gain that isn't regulated, measured or public/validated will probably be manipulated by a certain percentage of people for various reasons. When out of view and no chance to get caught, greed is a natural part of some people if not all.
Government and police for instance are composed of humans, and can easily be compromised if the price is right and it is easy to hide. Anything out of view and of value will be manipulated. If you say, Why why? tell 'em that it's human nature...
Very curious what nation you reside in.
I'm always surprised by this pattern of extreme paranoia. In most of the world lottery winners are anonymous, because people wouldn't even consider cheating with this sort of thing. It would just not come to their mind. Perhaps because we don't all default to immediately assume the worst of each other? Because that pattern of thinking makes it easier to morally justify when you screw some one over as well. If enough people think somebody would cheat like this, enough people would have the moral flexibility to cheat.
But in the US, where even the elections are computerized, anything is possible.
What is more common is to pay a winner more money for the ticket than the prize, to claim the prize for oneself, as a money laundering scheme. But this is not solved by removing anonymity, as it's hard to prove the scheme without the other person saying anything.
An probable example of this (in Spanish): http://www.levante-emv.com/comunitat-valenciana/2012/02/19/c...
For those sorts of prizes, US federal law requires the payor to collect a taxpayer identification number, to file an IRS Form W-2G with the federal government, and to furnish a copy of that form to the payee. Therefore they can ensure that taxes get paid on it.
Now, the payee on Form W-2G can be a trust or a legal entity - they get taxpayer identification numbers just like individuals do. But if the government doesn't see a tax return come through corresponding to a $560 million lottery jackpot, you can be sure the IRS will use all their investigative power, including the ability to pierce through the entity to the humans responsible for it, to track that down.
The main point of lotto anonymity is to hide from unwanted public harassment and invasions of privacy, not from paying taxes.
> Most people know that on average you will lose money
I don't think most people know this. Perhaps you do. Perhaps most of us here on HN know, but I strongly doubt most people who play do, given that most people who play are poor .
> What makes it worth playing...
This isn't true either. Most people who play play it for the smaller winners .
Finally, I just want to reiterate that the point of this is exactly what you mentioned. By making the amount small enough such that it wouldn't have a huge effect on your lifestyle, you make it safer to disclose who won.
Put another way, as a one-time deal, would you consider spending $1 for a 1-in-a-million chance to win $100,000? For many people, that isn't a totally unreasonable bargain. But if I ask you that 10,000 times, the cost becomes spending $10,000 for a 1-in-100 chance to win $100,000. That's the real problem with the predatory nature of the lottery.
You don't think most people know they're gambling when they buy a lottery ticket?
They also figured that for a few dollars - which most of them could easily afford here and there - those were the best odds they were ever going to have.
They spend $1000 on tickets, and the day where their next $5 ends up winning them $100 on a scratch-off makes it all worth it.
Most lottery ticket buyers may be low income, but that doesn't mean they're stupid.
Well the implication here is by publishing the person's name you have a public / crowdsourced validation process, right?
But how do you prevent collusion and abuse by the general public if they're really part of the validation process? Both have the same solution - you need trusted parties to validate the process, people who were themselves validated and vetted to do the work. Isn't that already in place? I believe so.
of course all of the money is tracked by the IRS and state.
All the monies are fungible. "This money goes to schools, this money goes to road" is a farce.
- Public source code program used to pick a random winner among public keys.
- Private key holder has access to the winnings.
- Govt takes their taxes before disbursing the funds.
- Everyone can verify funds were disbursed.
- Winner can stay anonymous.
Doesn’t a distributed, transparent system naturally lead to a deterministic system?
For example, a ball bouncing around a chamber, where the floor of the chamber is divided between contact pads representing different digits. Each time a ball bounces off a contact pad, add that pad's digit to a list, after X bounces concatenate the list to a seed value.
In a perfect world, with a perfect launching mechanism, you may be able to predetermine which pads the ball will land on and thus guess the seed value ahead of time. But the world isn't perfect. Just give the ball to a four year old who doesn't understand the meaning or consequences of the ball launch, and let the kid throw it into the box.
The seed would have to be picked as the number is drawn if the system is public.
This is actually a popular scheme used by a lot of 'provably fair' gambling sites/smart contracts.
In fact, knowing just four random pieces of information was enough to reidentify 90 percent of the shoppers as unique individuals and to uncover their records, researchers calculated.
Contrast this with trying to identify a single individual in a population with no other information about them. It would take about 33 bits if we knew absolutely nothing about her, given log_2(7,280,000,000) = 32.7. But we know she’s American, so we can cut our search space down to 322,000,000. That leaves us with 28 bits. We also know she’s a woman, so we can cut our search space down by 50%. Now we have 27 bits to go. I can virtually guarantee you an analysis of anonymous donation patterns will not meaningfully cut down the search space beyond a few more bits, and that’s exceptionally non-random data. The more useful information is knowing that she resides in New Hampshire, but that still only brings us down to approximately 20 bits.
Winning the lottery is even worse. I'm glad that woman managed to protect her identity.
Money can distort friendships and families. That's a given. But lottery money? It just seems like a ticket (ha!) to a world-class shit show. People hear the word jackpot, and act as though because you didn't earn the money--after all, it was just a moment of luck--that they're somehow entitled to it as well. Random people coming up to you at a restaurant, or harassing you by phone or knocking on your bloody door? It's the financial equivalent of the full moon. People take it as an excuse to act nuts, and they apparently get very, very angry when lottery winnings aren't shared with them.
Winning the lottery and avoiding that kind of nightmarish drama appears to require a constant vigilance for the rest of your life. Let it slip, and you're screwed. If you're lucky, you'll just get peppered with money requests that treat you if you're Santa Clause. Only real. Want to help people? You'll need to sort through the scams and the lies, first; honestly, you'd probably have more of an impact if you just cut annual checks to majority charities instead of trying to directly help people financially yourself. If you're unlucky, you get kidnapped and murdered as part of a harebrained scheme that never had a chance of actually succeeding. Which is just adding insult to injury.
There are lottery jackpot winners who avoid these kinds of twisted outcomes. But claiming your prize publicly is a great way to stack the deck against you, all but inviting the worst kind of human behavior to target you for the rest of your life. Ruthlessly maintaining your anonymity doesn't guarantee anything, but it would at least give you a decent start.
To promote the lottery."So and so won, I saw her on TV, I can win too" is a lot more convincing than "Someone from another town somewhere won".
First, they know who they are writing the check to so the whole "not related to lottery employees" part seems rather bogus.
I thought the whole point of disclosure was publicity, but this got plenty and being able to gamble without telling the world you won probably will sell more tickets anyway which is the whole point of the publicity.
specifically any that has support for zero-knowledge proofs so that transactions are actually anonymous.
you could have a bunch of people buy lottery tickets by sending currency to a smart contract, and then have it transfer the money to a random winner's address, and make the winner's address available only to the holder of the lottery contract's private key.
Bubba Ray may be fooled by a slip-and-fall scam, but try that shit on Warren Buffet and you'll be dealing with his team of lawyers.
Bubba Ray opts for the lump sum instead of the annuity. Anybody with a gun knows he has easy access to it-- try that shit on Bill Gates and you'll be lucky if you can get more than $400 from his ATM card, what with his billions being tied up in various investment vehicles.
On rare occasion you end up with situations like the Getty fiasco but it's much easier (and draws less attention) if you stick to just ripping off the little people. The rules of the game change when you go big-league and you'll quickly find yourself in over your head.
Not sure why it would change my current and future relationships, but if that's the case, I owe her thanks.
I get the notion than it doesn't seem fair, that no person is using a $300m share of the state's resources. But math just doesn't back it up.
The US federal budget is somewhere around 4 trillion dollars. A quick google suggests income tax is 47% of federal revenue. The US has a population of about 323 million. Plugging these all together gives me a federal revenue of about $6k per person, per year.
The alternative to it being "fair" to ask a lottery winner for $300m tax, is for it to be "fair" to tax every man, woman and child that $6k per year.
That almost sounds doable, but that's $6k per retiree, $6k per one-year-old. $6k per unemployed or student. There's a lot of people you simply can't get that money from - so it has to come from somewhere else.
It isn't fair, it's reality.
(For the lottery in particular, there's a simple solution. Lottery winnings aren't taxed here, the ticket is. Not only does this mean no $300m tax bill on a $500m win, but it also means all those silly little wins are taxed fairly too.)
So a $500m prize would mean 650m $1 tickets were sold, and the state has already collected $150m. It sounds like the state loses out this way, but it also means all the smaller prizes were already taxed at the point of sale too. By taxing it as earnings, you're never going to collect tax on all those little $10 prizes. But by collecting at the point of sale, $2.98 was already collected that little $10 prize.
I guess it's "six 'n two threes" .. the state gets their money either way.
(Caveats; I'm not arguing this is actually better, just that there are alternatives to the winner's huge tax liability. %'s may be slightly fudged, ours isn't actually taxed as sales tax, but collected as a revenue from the state-owned lottery. And I totally realise this works much easier where the entire nation is a single tax jurisdiction, rather than your state/federal split.)
So a judge basically said, "Well, we can break the law here and force the state to keep your name private because I say so; I'm a judge."
All the arguments about privacy and stuff, were really about whether it would be fair to break the law or now, not necessarily because they had some sort of legal standing.
No wonder people don't have faith in the American legal system.
What law is being broken? The state not getting it's will doesn't mean a law has been broken.
Unless there is a specific piece of law that requires the winner being made public, and that hasn't been in any of the reporting I've seen (and would be odd given the trust-workaround), there is no law being broken by this.
Note how in the article it says The state had argued that the names of lottery winners must be disclosed to ensure that prizes are distributed fairly and that winners are not related to lottery employees., not The state argued it is legally required to disclose the names. Even in your first comment, you say the state is in charge of whether or not that name gets revealed, for which it just got a constraint imposed on how to make it's decision.