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New Jersey Lottery Players Relish Opportunity To Win Powerball And Remain Anonymous

DUNELLEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Lottery excitement is building in the Garden State.

Wednesday night's Powerball drawing is $343 million. It's not a record or anything, but if someone does win they could become the first person to remain anonymous, CBS2's Valerie Castro reported.

If Scott Lock of Green Brook wins it big, he said he knows exactly what he will spend his winnings on.

"My kids, help some people out, pay off my mortgage, and have some fun," Lock said.

New Jersey Lottery
(credit: CBS New York)

Lock said he knows exactly how he would want to spend it, on the down low.

"Why would everybody need to know your business if you win the lottery? It's a private thing," Lock said.

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Luckily for him, a new law has gone into effect in New Jersey, allowing Lotto winners the option of remaining anonymous. That means no more fancy check presentations, if they don't want it.

"All the time, they say that they don't want to let anybody else know they win," Lucky 7 Days store manager Kalpesh Patel said.

"If you win, they all come out and want to borrow money," added Luisa Pasquale of Piscataway.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law into effect on Tuesday. Opponents argue that requiring winners' names to be published promotes accountability and transparency. However, the new law is putting many Lotto players at ease over safety concerns if they do actually win, except for one avid player who claims he already has a bodyguard.

"I got my wife. She would kick some butt," said Kenny Walker of Piscataway.

Jason Reddish, the CEO of the private equity firm Total Merchant Resources, said the state is finally putting the winner first, over publicity.

"So when you win a billion dollars and that's public knowledge, that's a very dangerous place to be, for blackmail, extortion, kidnapping," Reddish said. "They want them on the news and they want to show the common person picking up a check with all those zeros."

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New Jersey is the 11th state to join the growing list that permits anonymity, but is the only one in the Tri-State Area. It's an option some say should have come around sooner.

You may have to be in it, to win it, but now, you can stay out of the public spotlight.

The law takes effect immediately, but it's still unclear as to how long it will take to write the regulations.

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