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IT'S OFFICIAL: Tipton pleads guilty to rigging computerized lottery drawings

Jun 29, 2017, 10:52 am

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: IT'S OFFICIAL: Tipton pleads guilty to rigging computerized lottery drawingsRating:

The cyber security expert and brainpower behind a lottery rigging scandal that netted $2 million in illegal winnings from five state lotteries pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of ongoing criminal conduct charge.

For the first time in an Iowa courtroom, Eddie Tipton admitted to playing a central role in the rigging scheme after more than two years of adamant denials in the face of mounting evidence against him.

Pursuant a plea agreement, Tipton, 54, now faces spending up to 25 years in prison for using his insider access to manipulate computers that performed drawings for Hot Lotto and other games that he targeted in Iowa, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Colorado and Kansas.

When a computer selects the winning lottery numbers, it is termed a "computerized drawing". The other type of lottery drawings, which are not capable of being manipulated in this manner, are the kind with real lottery balls drawn from a spinning or agitated drum.

Lottery Post has advocated for the elimination of computerized drawings for more than a decade and described the possibility of this exact scenario many years before it was perpetrated by Tipton.  In addition to the outright rigging by Tipton, dozens of computerized drawing errors have been documented by Lottery Post over the years, some of them silently corrupting lottery drawings for months and making huge swaths of purchased lottery tickets incapable of winning.

Lottery executives have stated that computerized drawings are easier for them to coordinate and are cheaper to operate — although the actual savings of computerized drawings is suspect, especially when accounting for a drop in sales due to lower player confidence.  Tipton's guilty plea will only create more player distrust.

Tipton arrived in a Polk County courtroom around 8:30 a.m. Thursday wearing jeans and a blue shirt. His brother, Tommy Tipton, who also is pleading to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit theft, sat on a bench behind him wearing a blue tie.

As part of the plea, Eddie Tipton admitted that he wrote computer code sometime between 2005 and 2006 that allowed him to predict the winning numbers in certain lottery games. Tipton told Judge Brad McCall that when he first wrote the code he wasn't sure if he would ever use it and he did not believe at the time that he was breaking the law. "It was more of a trying to see if I could do it scenario," he said.

"I wrote software that included code that allowed me to technically predict wining numbers and I gave those numbers to other individuals who then won the lottery and shared those winnings with me," he said.

Tipton will be sentenced at a hearing on a later date. Though he faces up to 25 years in prison, there is no mandatory minimum sentence he would have to serve before being paroled. His defense attorneys will also be allowed to argue for a deferred judgment and a suspended prison sentence. 

Eddie Tipton worked as the information security director at the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale when he was first arrested in 2015 and charged with two counts of fraud after acquaintances recognized him on surveillance video as the hooded purchaser of a Hot Lotto ticket bought at a Des Moines convenience store. An unsuccessful attempt to cash in on that winning ticket for a $16.5 million prize ultimately led investigators to unwind the years-long scheme involving Eddie Tipton, his brother and a close friend, Robert Rhodes. 

Rhodes, a Texas businessman, pleaded guilty to a fraud charge in Iowa and a computer crime charge in Wisconsin earlier this year and agreed to testify for prosecutors against both Tipton brothers. After Tipton's first arrest and conviction, investigators learned that Rhodes won a $783,000 jackpot from the Wisconsin lottery using numbers that he ultimately admitted were given to him by Tipton. 

Tommy Tipton, a former Texas justice of the peace, sobbed throughout his own hearing and was immediately sentenced to 75 days in jail. Tipton admitted that he won lottery drawings in Colorado and Oklahoma using numbers that his brother had provided him. 

"I apologize for my actions," he said. "It was stupid and unwise." 

Eddie Tipton shook hands with Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand, who prosecuted the case, after the judge ended the hearing. Together, the Tipton brothers are expected to pay $3 million in restitution to the lotteries they targeted. Both are required to sit for a so-called "proffer" session with investigators to share details of how the scheme worked. 

That information will help state lotteries and gaming organizations make their systems more secure, Sand said.

"Small steps down a darkened path can lead somebody a long way from where they think they are going to be to where they end up," he said. 

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

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.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Des Moines Register, Lottery Post Staff

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16 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Cassie8620.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136473
December 12, 2012
6265 Posts
Offline
Posted: June 29, 2017, 2:12 pm - IP Logged

" trying to see if l could do it scenario "..pretty innocent line there Eddie! Much like bomb manufacturers, who have to carry out tests to see whether it works or not. I sure hope his actions, will bring about the total demise of the RNG.It can't happen fast enough.

 * Voice of Reason *   

 

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

    psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

    United States
    Member #4877
    May 30, 2004
    5289 Posts
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    Posted: June 29, 2017, 4:44 pm - IP Logged

    Look's like the dark state is "EVERYWHERE" & it operates behind locked rooms in the "DARK" oh>>>HELL>>>>>!!!!

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3918 Posts
      Online
      Posted: June 29, 2017, 5:53 pm - IP Logged

       Thanks go to Todd Northrop and the LP Staff for keeping this story up front and available. 

       Mega Millions and Power Ball are the games that I trust. 

      US Flag

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        Chasing $ Millions.
        White Shores- California
        United States
        Member #136473
        December 12, 2012
        6265 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: June 29, 2017, 8:18 pm - IP Logged

         Thanks go to Todd Northrop and the LP Staff for keeping this story up front and available. 

         Mega Millions and Power Ball are the games that I trust. 

        US Flag

        Music*- While Eddie has been pleading guilty, have you noticed that the Fantasy five game for tonight is sitting at a Mouth-watering $656,000? Hope you got your ticket.Smile

         * Voice of Reason *   

         

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

          Cassie8620's avatar - oGH0ok
          California
          United States
          Member #180566
          March 13, 2017
          4009 Posts
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          Posted: June 29, 2017, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

          I think low-player's confidence shall be more visible with PB when there is 1 winner, out of fifty states like when it's 1/2 billion just a week or 2 ago, outlandish. my father even say this alot,it's rigged. That type of huge pot can feed quite well 100 people per state,and still have enough left over.

          I trust pick 3, 4 more than any then nc cash five.

          GL

          Won over 13G's!( Spring 2020 ) + total (2019) 22,000! Time 2 break the bank, baby! $ $ $ Banana

          0068 0806 0860 1027 7707 1608 0620 0862 6800 8602 8620 1211 1215 1216 1236 1623 3193 3533 3009 3159 

          1031 2143 1061 1038 1263 1350 1358 1448 1530 1569 1570 1589 3412  1112 1411 1711 1216 2446 3422 3522 5593 4773

          0764 1061 1476 4374 4761 4762 4764  5925 6023 7077 7411 7460 7664 7678 8150 8779 9512 8999

            Avatar
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136473
            December 12, 2012
            6265 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: June 29, 2017, 8:49 pm - IP Logged

            I think low-player's confidence shall be more visible with PB when there is 1 winner, out of fifty states like when it's 1/2 billion just a week or 2 ago, outlandish. my father even say this alot,it's rigged. That type of huge pot can feed quite well 100 people per state,and still have enough left over.

            I trust pick 3, 4 more than any then nc cash five.

            GL

            Unless the mechanical balls are tampered with Cassie, rigging PB & MM, would be a near impossible.  How would you * The rigger- know what numbers players in all 50 States have on their playslips? What if they already marked " advance play?" If it is a live draw, its the purest form of non cheating l could ever imagine. Its those RNG games we need to worry about. If Fast Eddie could have set this up in 05,2 years after the Mars Rovers landed on Mars, imagine the technology in the hands of other savvy cyber security experts out there today?

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

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

              Avatar
              Chasing $ Millions.
              White Shores- California
              United States
              Member #136473
              December 12, 2012
              6265 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: June 29, 2017, 9:09 pm - IP Logged

               Thanks go to Todd Northrop and the LP Staff for keeping this story up front and available. 

               Mega Millions and Power Ball are the games that I trust. 

              US Flag

              I Agree! They have been relentless.

               * Voice of Reason *   

               

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

                TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                A long and winding road
                United States
                Member #17083
                June 10, 2005
                6432 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 29, 2017, 11:45 pm - IP Logged

                Accessory to the crime..Brother (judge) gets the money and years of good memories...While the coder pays the price. The scales are lopsided. 

                Both are culpable.

                Drawn balls are still open to tampering...Think airflow.

                7072 8557 6011 4337

                I was addicted to the hokey pokey, then I turned my life around .

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  50
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  25761 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: June 30, 2017, 7:00 am - IP Logged

                  Accessory to the crime..Brother (judge) gets the money and years of good memories...While the coder pays the price. The scales are lopsided. 

                  Both are culpable.

                  Drawn balls are still open to tampering...Think airflow.

                  I think you missed the part where they had to payback the money.  ($3 million)  As far as jail time is concerned, the scales seem balanced to me.  The one who did the crime of rigging the drawing gets the brunt of the punishment (although Eddie has not been sentenced yet).

                   

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

                   

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

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163184
                    January 22, 2015
                    2228 Posts
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                    Posted: June 30, 2017, 8:00 am - IP Logged

                    I think low-player's confidence shall be more visible with PB when there is 1 winner, out of fifty states like when it's 1/2 billion just a week or 2 ago, outlandish. my father even say this alot,it's rigged. That type of huge pot can feed quite well 100 people per state,and still have enough left over.

                    I trust pick 3, 4 more than any then nc cash five.

                    GL

                    When did Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah get lotteries???

                     

                    I get your drift, just poking fun, lottery available in 44 states, DC, PR and VI.

                     

                    Good luck on your lottery ventures!

                      Avatar
                      Chasing $ Millions.
                      White Shores- California
                      United States
                      Member #136473
                      December 12, 2012
                      6265 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 30, 2017, 10:45 am - IP Logged

                      When did Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah get lotteries???

                       

                      I get your drift, just poking fun, lottery available in 44 states, DC, PR and VI.

                       

                      Good luck on your lottery ventures!

                      " When did Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah get lotteries???"- l totally missed that little bit there BB. I   will have to don " my Image result for collar of shamecollar of shame" for five mins.Smile

                       * Voice of Reason *   

                       

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

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163184
                        January 22, 2015
                        2228 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: June 30, 2017, 10:57 am - IP Logged

                        " When did Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah get lotteries???"- l totally missed that little bit there BB. I   will have to don " my Image result for collar of shamecollar of shame" for five mins.Smile

                        Thanks for the laugh!

                          Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                          United States
                          Member #162626
                          January 7, 2015
                          778 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: June 30, 2017, 10:12 pm - IP Logged

                           Thanks go to Todd Northrop and the LP Staff for keeping this story up front and available. 

                           Mega Millions and Power Ball are the games that I trust. 

                          US Flag

                          .

                          Exactamundo!

                          • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                          • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                          • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                                     (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                          • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.
                            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                            United States
                            Member #72446
                            March 18, 2009
                            1302 Posts
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                            Posted: July 1, 2017, 10:43 am - IP Logged

                            I wonder how many years it will take for them to obtain this $3M

                            Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                            Disney