Missouri lawmakers vote to keep lottery winners secret

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation that could keep the names of state lottery winners secret.

State House members Jay Mosely said Thursday that the intent of his bill is to keep winners from being harassed or threatened. The bill, which won final approval Wednesday, would make it a misdemeanor crime for lottery officials to identify winners.

The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries says all but a very few states require the names and cities of winners to be made public. The Missouri Lottery says releasing the identity of winners helps promote sales and ensures the integrity of the games.

Kansas hit hard by identity theft during COVID-19 pandemic

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Identity theft rose sharply last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, and no place was hit harder than Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle reports that 43,211 Kansans alerted the Federal Trade Commission in 2020 that someone had stolen or tried to steal their identity. That was 2,272 more cases than in 2019.

Kansas’ 1,802% year-over-year increase was the highest among the states and more than three times the national average. Rhode Island was next, with an increase of 1,002%.

Of all the 2020 identity theft reports in Kansas, 88% were classified as government documents or benefits fraud. The Kansas Department of Labor has cited a barrage of fraudulent unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic began.