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Lottery scandal unlikely to affect New Mexico, official says

New Mexico LotteryNew Mexico Lottery: Lottery scandal unlikely to affect New Mexico, official says
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The expanding investigation of a former security chief for the national association that operates Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto and other lotteries is unlikely to affect New Mexico at this point, state lottery CEO David Barden said this week.

State officials, however, have been in touch with Iowa investigators, cooperating with them and providing requested data on some local jackpot winners.

Eddie Tipton, who worked for the Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association since 2003 and was promoted to information security director in 2013, was found guilty in July of rigging a computerized Hot Lotto game in 2010 so he could win a $16.5 million jackpot.

Since then, Iowa prosecutors have charged Tipton with ongoing criminal conduct and money laundering for allegedly fixing jackpots valued at roughly $8 million in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Iowa prosecutors alleged that Tipton, 52, used his access to random-number generators — the computers that randomly pick winning numbers — to surreptitiously install software programs that let him know the winning numbers in advance. The stealth software then disappears without a trace.

Investigators claim he worked with associates such as his brother, Tommy Tipton — who recently resigned as justice of the peace for Fayette County, Texas — and Texas businessman Robert Rhodes to play those numbers and collect prizes dating back to 2005.

Tipton never collected the jackpot, but he was convicted of two counts of fraud and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is free while he appeals the conviction.

The nonprofit Multi-State Lottery Association is operated by 37 mostly state-run lotteries — including New Mexico's — to oversee picking numbers for various games and other lottery game administrative functions.

Investigators have asked states to review jackpots produced by the number-generators Tipton had access to and whose numbers were picked by the ticket buyer — especially when payouts were collected by someone other than the person who ends up with the money, Rob Sand, a state prosecutor in Des Moines who is leading the probe, said.

New Mexico Lottery CEO Barden acknowledged this week that he has been in touch with Iowa investigators.

"It is my understanding that Iowa investigators have contacted almost every lottery using a (Multi-State Lottery Association) random-number generator regarding their investigation," he said.

"We originally got a phone call from Iowa saying, 'Will you help us?' and we said, 'Of course. We'll look at our winners to see if there's anybody of interest.' "

New Mexico participates in three games conducted by the association — Powerball, Hot Lotto and Mega Millions.

New Mexico Lottery spokeswoman Wendy Ahlm said Hot Lotto is the only New Mexico game that uses a random-number generator administered and certified by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Last year, Hot Lotto sales in New Mexico totaled $5,997,386, she said.

"We have looked at our (Hot Lotto) winners and, with the information we have provided to date, they (Iowa investigators) have not come back to us with any irregularities," Barden said.

He said only one Hot Lotto jackpot won in New Mexico involved a person who selected numbers as opposed to using "quick pick" numbers selected randomly by lottery computers.

Because Tipton's scheme required people who knew the winning numbers in advance to select those identical numbers, people who used quick-pick numbers would not be affected.

"Unlike the other states you know about (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin), we haven't been contacted about any investigation of any of our winners," Barden said.

New Mexico has had six Hot Lotto jackpot winners since the state lottery started offering the game in November 2006.

Albuquerque Journal

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9 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by KY Floyd.
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Kentucky
United States
Member #32652
February 14, 2006
7325 Posts
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Posted: December 26, 2015, 2:59 pm - IP Logged

Iowa prosecutors alleged that Tipton, 52, used his access to random-number generators — the computers that randomly pick winning numbers — to surreptitiously install software programs that let him know the winning numbers in advance. The stealth software then disappears without a trace.

How do they know or can prove that Tipton installed the "stealth software" if it disappeared without a trace?

The real question directed at MUSL should be "if you know there is a stealth software that does all the BS you said it did, why are you still using an RNG"?

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    mid-Ohio
    United States
    Member #9
    March 24, 2001
    19831 Posts
    Online
    Posted: December 26, 2015, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

    He said only one Hot Lotto jackpot won in New Mexico involved a person who selected numbers as opposed to using "quick pick" numbers selected randomly by lottery computers.

    Sounds like he's saying players who picked their own numbers only ever won the jackpot once, could it be their RNG had software to avoid picking such numbers too.  I always had the impression that a fair drawing didn't favor either.

     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
       
                 Evil Looking       

      Avatar
      New Member
      Atlanta, Georgia
      United States
      Member #146330
      September 1, 2013
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      Posted: December 26, 2015, 4:33 pm - IP Logged

      I've always wonder what happen to these lottery numbers. Georgia Lottery is the worst. They are so corrupted you can never know who really won the jackpot. Don't even think about playing cash 3 and cash 4 in GA. They played repeat numbers over and over and over such a BS. I actually think GA lottery need to be investigated for SCAM. Don't waist your money if you leave in GA go to Florida, South or North Carolina or even Tennessee. What a BS

        realtorjim's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcT7U3t20NgScoPlxOqLT6TR0vQeJNBV3_tTswe1XeFDTsdw3NLZ

        United States
        Member #106923
        February 27, 2011
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        Posted: December 26, 2015, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

        He said only one Hot Lotto jackpot won in New Mexico involved a person who selected numbers as opposed to using "quick pick" numbers selected randomly by lottery computers.

        Sounds like he's saying players who picked their own numbers only ever won the jackpot once, could it be their RNG had software to avoid picking such numbers too.  I always had the impression that a fair drawing didn't favor either.

        I think what they are saying is that Tipton knew what numbers to play because of the software that was installed, therefore only jackpot winning tickets with player opted picks would be susceptible to possible fraud connected to the scheme, likewise, subject to inquiry within the investigation.

          I'm feeling a jackpot win coming my way!

          sully16's avatar - sharan
          Ringleader
          Michigan
          United States
          Member #81740
          October 28, 2009
          40611 Posts
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          Posted: December 27, 2015, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

          Wow, so if you picked your own numbers and won, you are a suspect.

          Tipton screwed the real winners as well.

          Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

          For a lead role in a cage?

           

                                                      From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            mid-Ohio
            United States
            Member #9
            March 24, 2001
            19831 Posts
            Online
            Posted: December 27, 2015, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

            I think what they are saying is that Tipton knew what numbers to play because of the software that was installed, therefore only jackpot winning tickets with player opted picks would be susceptible to possible fraud connected to the scheme, likewise, subject to inquiry within the investigation.

            I took it to mean the only way to win picking your own numbers was to cheat, the winning numbers weren't picked completely randomly.  Tipton knew that and took advantage of it.  The RNG had a designed flaw to get a desired result.

             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
               
                         Evil Looking       

              Avatar
              New Member
              Maryland
              United States
              Member #155454
              May 19, 2014
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              Posted: December 27, 2015, 8:09 pm - IP Logged

              How can they say it didn't affect their lottery when their players bought tickets that were won in another state where Tipton's surrogates took the money out of the pool?

                Avatar
                Kentucky
                United States
                Member #32652
                February 14, 2006
                7325 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 27, 2015, 9:05 pm - IP Logged

                He said only one Hot Lotto jackpot won in New Mexico involved a person who selected numbers as opposed to using "quick pick" numbers selected randomly by lottery computers.

                Sounds like he's saying players who picked their own numbers only ever won the jackpot once, could it be their RNG had software to avoid picking such numbers too.  I always had the impression that a fair drawing didn't favor either.

                When I watched the "ticket buying" video I didn't see a play slip, the ticket was for five draws, and didn't indicate it was a QP. The New Mexico Lottery is saying only one of their jackpot prize winners was a self pick meaning that's the only drawing Tipton could win.

                  Avatar
                  NY
                  United States
                  Member #23835
                  October 16, 2005
                  3475 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: December 28, 2015, 2:54 am - IP Logged

                  I took it to mean the only way to win picking your own numbers was to cheat, the winning numbers weren't picked completely randomly.  Tipton knew that and took advantage of it.  The RNG had a designed flaw to get a desired result.

                  I'm still not sure what point you're trying to make.

                  You can't guarantee a win without picking both the winning combination and the combination on your ticket. That means that even if you know what the winning numbers will be you have no advantage if you buy a QP. That means that nobody who won with a QP won as a result of knowing what the winning numbers were going to be. Since only one winner in NM wasn't a QP that's the only person who could possibly have played the winning numbers because they already knew what they would be.

                  "the only way to win picking your own numbers was to cheat"

                  I hope you're not talking about players in general. Not knowing what the winning numbers will be makes it hard to win, not impossible to win. The odds of randomly playing the winning combination are exactly the same whether the drawing is perfectly random or rigged to choose a specific combination. In reality I expect many players would have a slightly better chance in a rigged drawing.  It's possible that Tipton chose a winning combination randomly, but if I was doing it I'd avoid birthday numbers and any obvious patterns to reduce the chances of sharing the jackpot.