After hearing reports that a second Oklahoma lottery prize had been claimed by a trust, rather than an individual, Sen. Clark Jolley announced he would file legislation for the 2007 session to close the loophole enabling individuals to form anonymous trusts after finding they had a winning ticket. Jolley, R-Edmond, said this loophole undermines the integrity of the lottery.
“We were told the lottery would be open, it would be transparent—full accountability. We would know the name and towns of everyone who had won,” Jolley said. “I think winners being anonymous trusts instead of real people cause problems with both accountability and trust of the lottery. Are the people winning actually eligible to win? Are they in-state residents that are hoping to avoid taxation? Is the winner actually a deadbeat dad who owes tens of thousands of dollars in child support but will avoid having to pay it by placing the winnings in a trust? There are a lot of issues that come up from this and I think it’s time that we address it.”
Sen. Jolley said his legislation would prevent a trust from claiming lottery winnings unless that trust, not an individual, had actually purchased the winning ticket. He also wants to ensure that all trusts have personal taxpayer identification numbers attached to them from somebody within the state of Oklahoma so that full taxes are withheld as well as any back due child support that may be owed.
Jolley said he hoped lawmakers would view his proposal as nonpartisan when it comes up for a vote next session.
“I would hope that everybody would see our citizens approved what they believed was a transparent and open lottery system,” Jolley said. “I think this is a common sense solution to make sure that our lottery is open, accountable and transparent.”