Eddie Tipton Investigation Expands to 37 StatesMonday December 21st 2015
Investigators have announced that they are expanding their review of lottery rigging to 37 states after more information has come to light about Eddie Tipton’s abuse of his former position as the security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL). Tipton was originally charged earlier this year with manipulating a Hot Lotto drawing in 2010 and trying to claim the $14.3 million prize. As a MUSL employee, he was not allowed to purchase lottery tickets or claim prizes. Now, the investigation is expanding across the U.S. in an attempt to discover what might be the full extent of Tipton’s attempts to undermine lottery security.
The state lotteries involved all use software supplied by MUSL to run several of their games, and Tipton may have had access to their systems throughout the course of his career. Officials from these lotteries will now need to review historical results to see if there were any suspicious drawings.
In autumn, an investigation was launched into suspicious lottery results in Colorado, Oklahoma and Wisconsin after it was revealed that associates of Tipton, including his own brother, won large lottery prizes in 2005, 2007 and 2011. One incident involved yet another Hot Lotto jackpot, which was won in 2011 by a man named Kyle Conn, who was originally from Texas but purchased his ticket in Oklahoma. Conn selected his own numbers instead of buying a Quick Pick.
In 2005, Tommy Tipton won a $568,990 prize on the Colorado Lottery, once again picking his own numbers. It is alleged that Eddie Tipton may have rigged the outcome of the draw. In 2007, a corporation run by Tipton’s associate Robert Rhodes won a Wisconsin Megabucks prize, after which a portion of the money was allegedly transferred to Tipton.
Retired Iowa Deputy Attorney General Thomas H. Miller, who spearheaded the initial investigation of the Hot Lotto fraud case, commented to CBS News that “it would be pretty naive to believe that there are only four” suspicious lottery jackpots. “If you find one cockroach,” he said, “you have to assume there are 100 more you haven’t found.”
Dean Stowers, Tipton’s attorney, maintains that his client is innocent and that there is “no evidence whatsoever” behind the charges and further allegations. Tipton was found guilty in July of tampering with the Hot Lotto drawing in 2010 and was sentenced to ten years in prison in September. He is currently appealing the original sentence, but has since been charged with with money laundering and criminal conduct over the alleged rigging of lotteries in the three states mentioned above. It is not clear if more charges are pending, or whether the investigation into other state lotteries will yield any more instances of fraud.