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Lottery scam investigation comes to Tennessee

May 11, 2016, 7:56 am

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Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Lottery scam investigation comes to TennesseeRating:

Includes video report

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Education Lottery is cooperating with investigators as they look into one of the most elaborate lottery scams in U.S. history.

The scam was the work of Eddie Tipton, a former security director with the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Tipton has been convicted of fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison.

But his brother and his old college roommate were recently arrested as the jackpot fixing investigation expanded.

Prosecutors in Iowa say surveillance video from an Iowa convenience store shows Eddie Tipton buying a winning ticket worth $14 million back in 2010.

The Assistant Director of Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said the scam sounds like something you would see in a movie.

"This new to me in my career. I have not seen anything like this," David Jobes said.

Investigators say Tipton used his security clearance to install software on lottery computers.

The software enabled him to manipulate winning lottery numbers in at least six states.

"We continue to work on this case. The agents keep looking at jackpots in different locations," Jobe said.

That includes Tennessee.

The President and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery, Rebecca Hargrove, confirmed they provided the names of those who won certain lottery games to investigators.

They are reviewing those names to see if winners have ties to Tipton.

"We feel as confident as we possibly can that Tennessee was not impacted," Hargrove said.

But Tennessee lottery officials confirmed to Newschannel 5 Investigates that Tipton visited the offices of the Tennessee Lottery back in 2004 while he worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association.

"He had no access what-so-ever to our facilities since we started using random number generated drawings," Hargrove said.

Investigators are not focused on games like Mega-millions or Powerball because they use ball drops to pick winning numbers.

They are focused on games like Hot Lotto which use computers — called random number generators — to pick winners.

Tipton's brother actually won jackpots in Oklahoma and Colorado. An investigator was asked could anyone be that lucky?

David Jobe responded, "I wouldn't think so. I know I'm not."

Hargrove said the timing is critical — the state didn't start offering Hot Lotto until 2013 — after Tipton had been caught buying that ticket in Iowa and his scheme began to unravel.

She doubts Tennessee will be impacted by the lottery scam.

"We didn't use any random number generators from the gentleman who provided them," Hargrove said. "Our random number generators have never come from that source."

VIDEO: Watch the report

fe88VK54rO8

Timeline of the biggest crime in US lottery history

The following is a compilation of Lottery Post news coverage chronicling the Hot Lotto mystery and subsequently discovered crime.

We start the timeline with a news story indicating that only 3 months remained for the $16 million Hot Lotto jackpot to be claimed.

NewsChannel5, Lottery Post Staff

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39 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by RL-RANDOMLOGIC.
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United States
Member #141028
April 2, 2013
1481 Posts
Offline

Boy, this stuff is turning into a virus and the Dragon Lady thinks she is immune.

Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

    Avatar
    South Carolina
    United States
    Member #18321
    July 9, 2005
    1827 Posts
    Offline

    The GOOD THING about this Nationwide RNG Investigation, is that it EXPOSES the Obvious Security Vulnerabilities and FRAUD that can happen in the game of Lottery using RNG drawings rather than Mechanical Ball Drawings.

    FRAUD is EASIER for Hackers with Computer Generated RNG lottery games.

      haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
      United States
      Member #112963
      June 29, 2011
      4136 Posts
      Offline

      So it seems we are just scratching the surface, hopefully this is the beginning of the end for RNG !

      Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
        50
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        26330 Posts
        Online

        So it seems we are just scratching the surface, hopefully this is the beginning of the end for RNG !

        I'm with you: I wish this was the beginning of the end for RNG.  Unfortunately it doesn't appear that the states are getting it. 

        Did you watch the video and notice Ms. Hargrove laughingly dismiss the possibility that the Tennessee Lottery's RNG was affected?  Rather than taking a serious tone and assuring people that the lottery is carefully investigating everything, she nearly does an eyeroll as she blows off the reporter's question.

        For the life of me I can't understand the lotteries' need to cling to computerized drawings as if they are the lifeblood of the games, when in fact the opposite is true.  I can see how people could conclude that vendors of these drawing machines are "somehow" persuading lotteries to stick with them.

        The Texas Lottery demonstrates on a daily basis what I consider to be some of the best, most transparent, lottery drawings, and they are done with modern robotic camera technology that minimizes the costs involved.  I can tell you that if I ran a lottery, I would absolutely adopt their approach.  Too bad the computerized states refuse.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
          USN United States Navy
          Fresno, California
          United States
          Member #157849
          August 2, 2014
          3959 Posts
          Offline

          I Agree! with Todd.  People need to vote with their dollars and their voices. Stop playing RNG games and let your legislature know why.

           "We are all in this together!" 

            Avatar
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136471
            December 12, 2012
            6682 Posts
            Online

            You got to love Priscilla's answer: "We did not get our rng from that guy."

             * Voice of Reason *   

            * The Truth Hurts *

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
              50
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              26330 Posts
              Online

              You got to love Priscilla's answer: "We did not get our rng from that guy."

              Yeah, as if that is the only computerized drawing system on Earth that could have been hacked.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                Avatar
                Chasing $ Millions.
                White Shores- California
                United States
                Member #136471
                December 12, 2012
                6682 Posts
                Online

                Yeah, as if that is the only computerized drawing system on Earth that could have been hacked.

                My thought exactly Todd.

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                * The Truth Hurts *

                People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                  Avatar
                  Wyomissing, PA
                  United States
                  Member #161043
                  November 15, 2014
                  481 Posts
                  Offline

                  I'm with you: I wish this was the beginning of the end for RNG.  Unfortunately it doesn't appear that the states are getting it. 

                  Did you watch the video and notice Ms. Hargrove laughingly dismiss the possibility that the Tennessee Lottery's RNG was affected?  Rather than taking a serious tone and assuring people that the lottery is carefully investigating everything, she nearly does an eyeroll as she blows off the reporter's question.

                  For the life of me I can't understand the lotteries' need to cling to computerized drawings as if they are the lifeblood of the games, when in fact the opposite is true.  I can see how people could conclude that vendors of these drawing machines are "somehow" persuading lotteries to stick with them.

                  The Texas Lottery demonstrates on a daily basis what I consider to be some of the best, most transparent, lottery drawings, and they are done with modern robotic camera technology that minimizes the costs involved.  I can tell you that if I ran a lottery, I would absolutely adopt their approach.  Too bad the computerized states refuse.

                  It's mystifying, especially given the national news coverage the Hot Lotto RNG hacking scandal has received. And yet Hot Lotto is still associated with MUSL, still uses computer RNG, and many are still buying! Crazy.

                  Personally, I'd never buy any MUSL associated RNG game, such as 2x2, Hot Lotto, etc. Heck, I'm leery of even buying a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket these days, despite being ball drawn, unless the jackpot is record breaking high.

                  Unless numbers sales drop sharply, it's likely many lotteries, such as Tennessee Lottery, will downplay the hacking issues, and continue / expand the use of RNG.

                  I couldn't find past sales data on the Hot Lotto page. Be interested in knowing whether Hot Lotto ticket sales dropped much / overall sales history ... that data would likely shed much light on the lack of concern regarding RNG / hacking by most lotteries. If Hot Lotto sales, long-term, weren't affected much, that could explain it.

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    9210 Posts
                    Offline

                    Includes video report

                    The Tennessee Education Lottery is cooperating with investigators as they look into one of the most elaborate lottery scams in U.S. history.

                    The scam was the work of Eddie Tipton, a former security director with the Multi-State Lottery Association.

                    Tipton has been convicted of fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison.

                    But his brother and his old college roommate were recently arrested as the jackpot fixing investigation expanded.

                    Prosecutors in Iowa say surveillance video from an Iowa convenience store shows Eddie Tipton buying a winning ticket worth $14 million back in 2010.

                    The Assistant Director of Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) said the scam sounds like something you would see in a movie.

                    "This new to me in my career. I have not seen anything like this," David Jobes said.

                    Investigators say Tipton used his security clearance to install software on lottery computers.

                    The software enabled him to manipulate winning lottery numbers in at least six states.

                    "We continue to work on this case. The agents keep looking at jackpots in different locations," Jobe said.

                    That includes Tennessee.

                    The President and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery, Rebecca Hargrove, confirmed they provided the names of those who won certain lottery games to investigators.

                    They are reviewing those names to see if winners have ties to Tipton.

                    "We feel as confident as we possibly can that Tennessee was not impacted," Hargrove said.

                    But Tennessee lottery officials confirmed to Newschannel 5 Investigates that Tipton visited the offices of the Tennessee Lottery back in 2004 while he worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association.

                    "He had no access what-so-ever to our facilities since we started using random number generated drawings," Hargrove said.

                    Investigators are not focused on games like Mega-millions or Powerball because they use ball drops to pick winning numbers.

                    They are focused on games like Hot Lotto which use computers — called random number generators — to pick winners.

                    Tipton's brother actually won jackpots in Oklahoma and Colorado. An investigator was asked could anyone be that lucky?

                    David Jobe responded, "I wouldn't think so. I know I'm not."

                    Hargrove said the timing is critical — the state didn't start offering Hot Lotto until 2013 — after Tipton had been caught buying that ticket in Iowa and his scheme began to unravel.

                    She doubts Tennessee will be impacted by the lottery scam.

                    "We didn't use any random number generators from the gentleman who provided them," Hargrove said. "Our random number generators have never come from that source."

                    VIDEO: Watch the report

                    fe88VK54rO8

                    Timeline of the biggest crime in US lottery history

                    The following is a compilation of Lottery Post news coverage chronicling the Hot Lotto mystery and subsequently discovered crime.

                    We start the timeline with a news story indicating that only 3 months remained for the $16 million Hot Lotto jackpot to be claimed.

                    Hargrove said the timing is critical — the state didn't start offering Hot Lotto until 2013 — after Tipton had been caught buying that ticket in Iowa and his scheme began to unravel.

                    Then why is MUSL wasting time investigating Tennessee Hot Lotto winners?

                    Tipton's brother actually won jackpots in Oklahoma and Colorado.

                    But can they prove Eddie Tipton rigged those drawings?

                      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                      100
                      mid-Ohio
                      United States
                      Member #9
                      March 24, 2001
                      20272 Posts
                      Offline

                      Hargrove said the timing is critical — the state didn't start offering Hot Lotto until 2013 — after Tipton had been caught buying that ticket in Iowa and his scheme began to unravel.

                      Then why is MUSL wasting time investigating Tennessee Hot Lotto winners?

                      Tipton's brother actually won jackpots in Oklahoma and Colorado.

                      But can they prove Eddie Tipton rigged those drawings?

                      Sounds like anyone who wins a jackpot of a MUSL game is a suspect because they have accomplished the impossible.

                       * you don't need to buy every combination, just the winning ones * 

                      Thumbs Up       

                        bobby623's avatar - abstract
                        San Angelo, Texas
                        United States
                        Member #1097
                        January 31, 2003
                        1648 Posts
                        Offline
                        IMHO, I doubt that any lottery official who went to great lengths to convince the politicians that they would have more money to spend if they dumped the ball machines is going to admit to being wrong.
                        Lottery directors are seen as financial wizards who don't make mistakes.
                        Switching back to ball machines would require funds that the political class is not about to give up without a fight. 
                        A recommendation that players stop buying tickets is ludicrous. There is no way on earth or Hell that such an effort be seriously organized and put into effect.
                        Like it or not, the RNG computers that are now in place are here to stay.
                          Avatar
                          Bellingham, WA
                          United States
                          Member #86466
                          February 4, 2010
                          44 Posts
                          Offline

                          No NoAll said and done, but why isn't the third person's face, The Collage Room Mate, posted for all to see!!! Sounds fishy to me...

                            Avatar
                            25
                            Earth, USA
                            United States
                            Member #80330
                            September 24, 2009
                            44327 Posts
                            Offline

                            I just wish people were sharp enough to fall back from playing in cases where these scams come out. You can get the results you want simply by NOT funding it by playing. Don't play and they will make changes. People's greed and addictions to the hope of winning have a grip on their logical thinking. Confused