A bill passed in Florida’s legislature last month and now awaiting Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ signature would keep secret the names of lottery winners of $250,000 (£187,000) or more for 90 days, unless that winner wants to be named.
Speaking in a recent interview from prison, Dorice Donegan “Dee Dee” Moore said naming lottery winners “puts a target on them”, and made them suspectable to crime – including, potentially, death.
The 47-year-old Tampa woman was handed a life sentence in 2012 for shooting 42-year-old Abraham Lee Shakespeare dead, although she continues to deny murdering the former lottery winner.
Shakespeare had been celebrated publicly as a $30m (£22m) winner of the Florida Lottery, which immediately releases the name, city of residence, game, date won and amount won to anyone who requests it.
It does not disclose the home address or phone number of a winner, although such information can usually be discovered elsewhere in publicly accessible documents.
In her interview, Moore said 90 days was not enough anonymity for future winners of the Florida Lottery, who she said have “to change their whole life around” following a winning lottery ticket.
“I don’t feel that’s enough time,” said Moore, adding that whether or not winners claim a single lump sum or installments should also be held back. “Ninety days is nothing, you see how quick time flies”.
The woman, who has been in a state prison for nearly 3,400 days, said six months was a better time frame for keeping a lottery winner’s life private.
Florida’s legislature introduced the anonymity bill in an attempt to rectify those crimes, including that of Moore, who allegedly met Shakespeare and took control of $1m (£74,000) of his winnings after convincing him she would write a book about his life. He was then fatally shot twice in the chest.
Rep Tracie Davis recently told reporters: “At some point in our lives, we all dream of winning the lottery, (but) unfortunately for some people, that dream of winning the lottery, sometimes those dreams become a nightmare.”
While Moore said she “really did not kill” Shakespeare in a 2019 letter, a Florida appeals courts upheld her conviction in 2015 and again in 2019, calling her own continuing claims of innocence “confusing, conclusory and vague”.
She reportedly intends to continue her legal appeals.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press.