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Eddie Tipton, Not-So-Lucky Iowa Lottery Rigger, Facing 10 Years

By    |   Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:27 AM EDT

Eddie Tipton, Not-So-Lucky Iowa Lottery Rigger, Facing 10 Years
Eddie Tipton before the start of his trial in Des Moines. (Brian Powers/The Des Moines Register/AP Photo)
Former Iowa lottery worker Eddie Tipton was found guilty on Monday of rigging a computerized Hot Lotto game to try to win a $14 million prize.

The 52-year-old of Norwalk inserted a stealth program in a computer that randomly picks the numbers for the Hot Lotto game, and that made the numbers selected all but random, according to the New York Daily News.

Tipton could face a total of five years in prison on each of the two counts of fraud when sentenced this September, according to The Associated Press.

Tipton had been employed by the Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association since 2003, and was promoted to information security director in 2013. The nonprofit association is directed by 37 state-run lotteries to oversee selecting numbers for lottery games.

As an employee, Tipton was barred from participating in the Iowa lottery and he was fired after his arrest in January of this year.

Des Moines convenience store surveillance footage showed a hooded man purchasing a winning Hot Lotto ticket in December 2010. Although the video’s low quality didn't reveal Tipton’s face, several former co-workers and friends of Tipton testified during his trial and identified him as the person at the scene.

Tipton’s two brothers and sister also testified, claiming he was not the man pictured in the video.

Prosecutors claimed that Tipton purchased the exact numbers that he previously programed into the lottery computer the previous month and then gave the winning ticket to a friend in Texas. Tipton’s friend then approached attorneys in both Texas and Canada in attempts to cash the ticket while withholding the original ticket buyer’s name, said the AP.

Tipton’s plan backfired because Iowa law insists that Jackpot winners be identified in order to be paid.

“I think this ought to be a wake-up call to other states in terms of maybe they should emulate the Iowa lottery’s requirements,” said Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand

Tipton’s attorney said his client would appeal, claiming lack of evidence. Tipton  remained free on bond until sentencing in September.

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TheWire
Former Iowa lottery worker Eddie Tipton was found guilty on Monday of rigging a computerized Hot Lotto game to try to win a $14 million prize.
eddie tipton, iowa, lottery, rigger
367
2015-27-21
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:27 AM
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