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Winner sues Colorado Lottery 12 years after rigged drawing

Oct 5, 2017, 6:57 pm

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Colorado LotteryColorado Lottery: Winner sues Colorado Lottery 12 years after rigged drawingRating:

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A decade after Colorado engineer Amir Massihzadeh hit the lottery, two state agents visited him with stunning news: He was likely the only legitimate winner of a $4.8 million jackpot he'd had to split three ways.

They told the Boulder resident that the other two people who had won the 2005 drawing were linked to a conspiracy in which a lottery insider and several cohorts had rigged drawings in several states. Now Massihzadeh, 62, is suing for the rest of the winnings that he feels should have been his.

Massihzadeh filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Colorado State Lottery, arguing he should be declared the sole winner and that the $800,000 cash prize he opted to receive should have been tripled. Accounting for 12 years of interest, he is seeking about $4 million from the lottery for what he calls a breach of contract.

It's the latest headache for state lotteries caused by former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director Eddie Tipton, who admitted to manipulating the software they used so that he could predict winning numbers on certain days of the year. Tipton, his brother, and a friend were recently sentenced for conspiring to use this insider knowledge to buy winning tickets and collect prizes between 2005 and 2011. They fixed jackpots that paid $2.61 million to them and their associates in four states, and their scheme unraveled after Eddie Tipton was caught buying the winning ticket for a $14 million Iowa jackpot that was never paid.

Massihzadeh, who received $568,900 after taxes, argues that he's entitled to the other two-thirds of the prize because the other tickets were purchased through Tipton's conspiracy and should be invalid.

"Even though the Tiptons have agreed to repay the money they received from the Lottery, the Lottery has refused to honor its obligation to Mr. Massihzadeh," his lawsuit says.

Colorado lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor declined to comment on the lawsuit, which is the third to claim players were cheated by Tipton's scheme.

Hundreds of thousands of people who bought tickets on dates in which Tipton could predict winning numbers are pursuing a class-action lawsuit seeking refunds, arguing those drawings weren't truly random. A man who won a 2011 jackpot is also suing the Iowa Lottery, saying his prize should be larger because the $14 million jackpot should have rolled over.

Tipton, who is serving a 25-year prison term, built computers used by Colorado and other states to generate random numbers for drawings. Starting in 2005, he secretly installed code that directed them to use a predictable formula to select numbers on May 27, Nov. 23, and Dec. 29 for drawings that fell on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Nov. 23, 2005, Colorado drawing is the first that was fixed.

Massihzadeh had played the lottery for years, often buying a few tickets. Like most, he purchased "quick pick" tickets that computers generated for him rather than selecting numbers manually. He was "shocked and thrilled" to learn that his was one of three tickets that matched all six numbers for the Colorado Lotto, the lawsuit says.

Massihzadeh had no idea that the other two winners were part of what prosecutors have called the "ultimate 21st century inside job."

Eddie Tipton had simulated the drawing and recorded likely winning combinations by hand. He gave a notebook with those numbers to his brother, Tommy, then a magistrate in Flatonia, Texas, who traveled to Colorado to play them. One was the winner. To hide his identity, Tommy Tipton recruited a friend to claim the prize.

The third ticket was redeemed by Cuestion de Suerte LLC, which has been linked to two Texas lawyers who are associates of Tommy Tipton.

The Tiptons have claimed that the lawyers stole the winning numbers from Tommy Tipton and played them without his knowledge. The lawyers haven't been charged. But the Tiptons' plea agreements state that anyone found "to have profited from the payment of lottery prizes" in Colorado may still face restitution demands.

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

AP, Lottery Post Staff

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25 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Stack47.
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Win Today.
bel air maryland
United States
Member #90247
April 24, 2010
9416 Posts
Online

This should prove to be very interesting.  Perhaps it will lead to the demise of RNG's once and for all.  At least we can hope it will.

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

    Avatar
    Virginia
    United States
    Member #183311
    July 27, 2017
    85 Posts
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    Conspiracy to try and keep the other part of the winnings? Wow, and they didn't even give the guy the money he earned?

    I won the extra chance drawing for $25.00 in VA and they never sent it. Called three times and they assured it was fixed and on the way. Nope! Still haven't got it. Amazing how even the winners have to fight for their due payout.

      Artist77's avatar - batman14

      United States
      Member #121741
      January 16, 2012
      7642 Posts
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      Conspiracy to try and keep the other part of the winnings? Wow, and they didn't even give the guy the money he earned?

      I won the extra chance drawing for $25.00 in VA and they never sent it. Called three times and they assured it was fixed and on the way. Nope! Still haven't got it. Amazing how even the winners have to fight for their due payout.

      Put it up on twitter and # to the Virginia lottery. You will get your money.

      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

        Artist77's avatar - batman14

        United States
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        January 16, 2012
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        I think the guy has a good chance. I hope he wins.

        Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

          Avatar
          Chasing $ Millions.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136473
          December 12, 2012
          6313 Posts
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          l seriously wanted to say something else, but in all fairness..

          • Image result for wishful thinking quote

           * Voice of Reason *   

           

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

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            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2258 Posts
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            I hope he wins against Goliath.  Some of these corporations and not necessarily lotteries need to be held accountable for their actions or lack thereof.

              konane's avatar - wallace
              Atlanta, GA
              United States
              Member #1265
              March 13, 2003
              5866 Posts
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              This should prove to be very interesting.  Perhaps it will lead to the demise of RNG's once and for all.  At least we can hope it will.

              I hope it does end use of RNG's.   I also hope Amir Massihzadeh prevails in court and is paid all he's seeking.

              Have fun and the best of luck to everyone! Sun Smiley

                Avatar
                Chasing $ Millions.
                White Shores- California
                United States
                Member #136473
                December 12, 2012
                6313 Posts
                Offline

                The two State agents who spoke to Massih, may have given him the impression that Tipton was going to fork over the rest of the jackpot to him. Now that it has not come to pass, they going after the establishment itself. That's pretty difficult, given the fact that it would be assumed that the lottery KNEW in advance what Tipton was doing. It's a shot in the dark at the lottery, nothing more, nothing less. Massih's lawsuit is attempting to make the Lottery a co conspirator. 

                 * Voice of Reason *   

                 

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

                  Artist77's avatar - batman14

                  United States
                  Member #121741
                  January 16, 2012
                  7642 Posts
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                  There are no claims that the lottery was a co-conspirator.  He seems to be alluding to a but for... causation standard. And let's be honest, Tipton's cheating went on for a long time so they should have caught him earlier. The lottery did not exercise the level of care they should have so they are negligent.

                  Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                    Avatar
                    Chasing $ Millions.
                    White Shores- California
                    United States
                    Member #136473
                    December 12, 2012
                    6313 Posts
                    Offline

                    There are no claims that the lottery was a co-conspirator.  He seems to be alluding to a but for... causation standard. And let's be honest, Tipton's cheating went on for a long time so they should have caught him earlier. The lottery did not exercise the level of care they should have so they are negligent.

                    You can't be serious A. The only reason Tippy got caught was because he and his posse got greedy & careless. If not for their foolishness, these guys would still be going on about their business today. No one apart from his close knit crew knew what he was doing, blaming the lottery is a swallow view. There are thousands of unsolved Cold cases out there, are we to go about blaming the police departments for not "exercising the level of care" to bring these criminals to justice? 

                     * Voice of Reason *   

                     

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

                      Artist77's avatar - batman14

                      United States
                      Member #121741
                      January 16, 2012
                      7642 Posts
                      Offline

                      Stop trying to turn this into a political issue. No one referenced police departments or cold cases and you are comparing apples to oranges. Your posts sure get deleted a lot...lol.

                      Look back at the prior stories posted by Todd. The lottery investigation caught up with Tipton at some point but should have figured it out earlier. All entities are subject to exercising a standard of ordinary care. This is a basic premise of any legal system. This does not require an allegation that the lottery was a co-conspirator.

                      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                        Avatar
                        Chasing $ Millions.
                        White Shores- California
                        United States
                        Member #136473
                        December 12, 2012
                        6313 Posts
                        Offline

                        That's because I am not insecure. l am not a report monkey either.For the life of me, l can't recall those famous words of Nathan R Jessup.

                         * Voice of Reason *   

                         

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

                          Artist77's avatar - batman14

                          United States
                          Member #121741
                          January 16, 2012
                          7642 Posts
                          Offline

                          Lol. Todd establishes the rules for this site. And there you go with your name calling.  Such an unhappy fellow.

                          Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                            Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                            50
                            Chief Bottle Washer
                            New Jersey
                            United States
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                            May 31, 2000
                            25841 Posts
                            Online

                            That's because I am not insecure. l am not a report monkey either.For the life of me, l can't recall those famous words of Nathan R Jessup.

                            I like "report monkeys" as you call them, because they are my assistants in finding abusive people posting on the forums.

                            Please stop with the off-topic discussion here.

                             

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