Lottery winnings have been in the news lately. And why not? What better way to induce people to participate in a scheme where they have a better chance of being struck by lightning (1 in 10,000 in your lifetime and 1 in 1,000,000 in a given year) than by highlighting the big winners. And there's always a big winner because the prize keeps building until at least one ticket matches up.
But this post isn't sour grapes about the lottery. I haven't bought a ticket in years. By the way, if you're interested in what happens to the money that doesn't get paid out, check out the Washington State Lottery Annual Reports and RCW 67.70.
Anyway, Spokane just had a 4.2 million dollar winner who wished to remain anonymous. The Review made a point of stating that they filed a public disclosure request to get the winner's name. That set off a mild firestorm of comments condemning the Review for intruding on the winner's privacy.
First of all, the Review didn't say what they were going to do with the information. Secondly, the commenters assume that the Review is purposely trying to expose the winner's name. Would they publish the name just because they can? I don't think so. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt. From a human interest perspective there might be a story. If the winner chooses not to participate and still wished to remain anonymous, I think the Review would respect that. But in order to find out, they have to be able to ask them first.
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