A New York State lottery winner can remain anonymous if they choose to do so, even after winning the prize. But they will still have to pay taxes on their award, go through a background check and fill out paperwork so the state knows who they are.
The lottery is a game of chance in which numbers are drawn to determine a prize amount. It is operated by individual states, though some have formed consortiums to organize games that span a wider geographic footprint. These multistate games, like Powerball and Mega Millions, act as de facto national lotteries.
In the early days of legalized lotteries, advocates promoted them as a way to keep state coffers full without raising state taxes and keeping money in the pockets of average citizens. But the reality of a lottery’s impact on state finances quickly put an end to this fantasy. In most cases, lottery proceeds cover a single line item in a state budget-usually education, but sometimes elder care, public parks or aid to veterans.
The public must also be on guard against scams, including fraudulent “lottery” or sweepstakes prizes and calls from people who claim to be from the government or law enforcement. These calls, which often request a fee in order to collect a prize, are almost always a fraud. Scammers can also pose as victims who have already lost money through a previous fraud and try to recover that money by threatening legal action.