Eddie Tipton Facing Additional Lotto Rigging ChargesWednesday October 14th 2015
Eddie Tipton may be facing a lot longer than ten years in prison after being convicted of rigging Hot Lotto in 2010, as he must now defend himself against charges that he may have tampered with lottery drawings in Colorado and Wisconsin in 2005 and 2007. Tipton handed himself in to authorities in Iowa earlier this week, was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, and later posted a bond of $25,000. He could now face up to 35 years in prison if convicted. The charges were filed just days after Iowa authorities appealed to the public for witnesses regarding the previous incidents.
In July 2015, he was convicted of two counts of fraud after a jury found sufficient evidence that he had used a rootkit to tamper with the lottery’s number generator and was later sentenced to a decade in prison. However, it now seems as if there may be more history to the scam than previously thought.
A tip-off to the authorities after Tipton’s conviction in July alleged that his brother Tommy won over $568,000 in November 2005 while living in Colorado. A written criminal complaint suggests that Tommy Tipton may have asked a friend to claim the cash for him, later giving the “claimant” a ten percent cut of the money.
Later, Robert Rhodes, a friend of Tipton’s, is alleged to have won more than $780,000 after winning on Wisconsin Megabucks in 2007. Instead of having the money paid to him, Rhodes is said to have filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Lottery so that the cash would be directed to a limited liability company that he owned. A portion of the money was then allegedly transferred to Tipton’s bank account over the course of 18 months.
Both alleged incidents involved manual entries, meaning that the players involved would have picked their own numbers instead of using a randomly-generated entry. In the Hot Lotto trial, it was revealed that Tipton frequently traveled to other lotteries in order to check the security of their equipment as part of his work at the Multi-State Lottery Association, which has ignited fears that there could be even more suspicious draws and payouts to investigate.
Lottery officials have been quick to reassure the public that they are working together with the authorities on the matter. Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich told the Des Moines Register that Tipton’s case will help state lotteries focus on security procedures, but that investigating the crimes could take longer than the public might think. “When you perpetrate crime, you leave trails. It may take years, and that’s what happened in this case,” he said.