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Iowa lottery lawsuit granted class action, affecting 7.2 million tickets in 19 states

Jan 28, 2019, 10:24 am

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By Jason Clayworth

A judge has granted class-action status in a lawsuit that claims people who purchased at least 7.2 million lottery tickets in 19 states were scammed by a former national lottery IT director who worked in Iowa.

Eddie Tipton, the former IT director for the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, added a secret code to "random" number-generating computer software in 2005 that allowed him to narrow the drawing's winning odds from as great as 5 million to 1 down to 200 to 1.

Tipton's scam — the largest in U.S. history — went undetected for years, and the code was replicated in lottery computer software across the nation. He hijacked at least five winning drawings totaling more than $24 million in prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, court records show.

The scheme began to unravel following multiple failed attempts in 2011 to collect a $16.5 million ticket Tipton had purchased at a Des Moines convenience store. He was sentenced in 2017 to up to 25 years in prison in connection with the lottery scams.

Burlington resident Dale Culler is among at least three people who have filed lawsuits naming the Multi-State Lottery Association in connection with the rigged games.

This month, Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert granted Culler's effort to seek damages on behalf of potentially hundreds of thousands of players.

Court documents show Culler spent $63 to purchase tickets in two games he believes were affected by Tipton's scam. He has alleged that at least 20 drawings between 2005 and 2013 were affected.

The lottery association — commonly referenced as MUSL — argued that a class-action lawsuit is not manageable because its members cannot be sufficiently ascertained due to the lack of records of people who purchased losing tickets.

Culler argued that people who believed they've been cheated could use affidavits to identify themselves as members of the class-action lawsuit, which Huppert ruled as acceptable.

"The court finds that potential problems of manageability do not outweigh the fact that a class-action suit is the best, and perhaps the only, method of resolving this dispute," Huppert wrote in his opinion.

MUSL is an umbrella organization that is owned and operated by 36 member lotteries including the Iowa Lottery. Its executives previously have said they no longer use computer programs that Tipton designed.

Bret Toyne, the association's director; and Jerry Crawford, a Des Moines attorney who is representing Culler; declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

Details showing how players may join Culler's lawsuit have not been filed with the court. A trial is set for March 11.

Culler says games in the following states are affected: Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

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

2018

2019

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21 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by KY Floyd.
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United States
Member #174652
May 5, 2016
1093 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 28, 2019, 10:32 am - IP Logged

By Jason Clayworth

A judge has granted class-action status in a lawsuit that claims people who purchased at least 7.2 million lottery tickets in 19 states were scammed by a former national lottery IT director who worked in Iowa.

Eddie Tipton, the former IT director for the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, added a secret code to "random" number-generating computer software in 2005 that allowed him to narrow the drawing's winning odds from as great as 5 million to 1 down to 200 to 1.

Tipton's scam — the largest in U.S. history — went undetected for years, and the code was replicated in lottery computer software across the nation. He hijacked at least five winning drawings totaling more than $24 million in prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, court records show.

The scheme began to unravel following multiple failed attempts in 2011 to collect a $16.5 million ticket Tipton had purchased at a Des Moines convenience store. He was sentenced in 2017 to up to 25 years in prison in connection with the lottery scams.

Burlington resident Dale Culler is among at least three people who have filed lawsuits naming the Multi-State Lottery Association in connection with the rigged games.

This month, Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert granted Culler's effort to seek damages on behalf of potentially hundreds of thousands of players.

Court documents show Culler spent $63 to purchase tickets in two games he believes were affected by Tipton's scam. He has alleged that at least 20 drawings between 2005 and 2013 were affected.

The lottery association — commonly referenced as MUSL — argued that a class-action lawsuit is not manageable because its members cannot be sufficiently ascertained due to the lack of records of people who purchased losing tickets.

Culler argued that people who believed they've been cheated could use affidavits to identify themselves as members of the class-action lawsuit, which Huppert ruled as acceptable.

"The court finds that potential problems of manageability do not outweigh the fact that a class-action suit is the best, and perhaps the only, method of resolving this dispute," Huppert wrote in his opinion.

MUSL is an umbrella organization that is owned and operated by 36 member lotteries including the Iowa Lottery. Its executives previously have said they no longer use computer programs that Tipton designed.

Bret Toyne, the association's director; and Jerry Crawford, a Des Moines attorney who is representing Culler; declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

Details showing how players may join Culler's lawsuit have not been filed with the court. A trial is set for March 11.

Culler says games in the following states are affected: Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

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

2018

2019

"Culler says games in the following states are affected: Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Tennessee and Washington, D.C."

My state isn't listed BananaHurray!

Thumbs Down

    music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157851
    August 2, 2014
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    Posted: January 28, 2019, 10:42 am - IP Logged

    Eddie Tipton affected so many lives. He was a person in authority and abused that position.

     It will be interesting to watch this class action lawsuit. No one knows where it will end.

    Dance

     "We are all in this together!" 

      TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
      Brooklyn, NY
      United States
      Member #169719
      October 29, 2015
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      Posted: January 28, 2019, 1:37 pm - IP Logged

      There are so many ways to join a class action suit. All they have to do is say they were affected and they'll get a piece of the settlement.

      The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

      “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

      Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

        brees2012's avatar - animal whale.jpg

        United States
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        March 26, 2012
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        Posted: January 28, 2019, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

        The only persons who's going to benefit from Class Act Suits , will be the Attorney(s) !!!

        NOT the people who bought the Tickets !!! 

        Ready To Win ....

          Avatar
          Chasing $ Millions.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136473
          December 12, 2012
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          Posted: January 28, 2019, 3:48 pm - IP Logged

          There are so many ways to join a class action suit. All they have to do is say they were affected and they'll get a piece of the settlement.

          l doubt it’s that simple TMM. These folks joining this class action lawsuit better have containers of losing stashed away. Simply saying “l played and lost” while Eddie was up to no good, won’t cut it.lf it was that easy, panhandlers  could come forward saying they played the lottery as well, but threw away their tickets when they read “ Sorry, not a winner.” 

           * 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
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            Posted: January 28, 2019, 3:50 pm - IP Logged

            The only persons who's going to benefit from Class Act Suits , will be the Attorney(s) !!!

            NOT the people who bought the Tickets !!! 

            I Agree!

             * Voice of Reason *   

             

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

              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
              100
              Zeta Reticuli Star System
              United States
              Member #30469
              January 17, 2006
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              Posted: January 28, 2019, 4:12 pm - IP Logged

              LP will probably get at least one new member asking for losing tickets from the states and time framed mentioned.

              No No

              Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

              Lep

              There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

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                Simpsonville
                United States
                Member #163184
                January 22, 2015
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                Posted: January 28, 2019, 4:18 pm - IP Logged

                I just want to see restitution from those two Brothers.  They seem intent and not paying back the judgment against them.

                  Avatar
                  Chasing $ Millions.
                  White Shores- California
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                  Posted: January 28, 2019, 4:47 pm - IP Logged

                  Eddie Tipton affected so many lives. He was a person in authority and abused that position.

                   It will be interesting to watch this class action lawsuit. No one knows where it will end.

                  Dance

                  ” Eddie affected so many lives.” He probably thinks, not according to him, given that it’s a game of chance.I also wonder how much Culler thinks HE should be getting in this settlement, a million dollars or more? 

                   * 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
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                    Posted: January 28, 2019, 4:56 pm - IP Logged

                    I just want to see restitution from those two Brothers.  They seem intent and not paying back the judgment against them.

                    l am surprised the courts haven’t  attacked his bank accounts. What are they waiting for?

                     * 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
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                      Posted: January 28, 2019, 6:02 pm - IP Logged

                      l am surprised the courts haven’t  attacked his bank accounts. What are they waiting for?

                      Good point.  Doesn't the government seize money launderers and drug king pins monies as well as their assets such as houses, boats, airplanes etc.?  Seize and sell!!

                        rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                        Texas
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                        Posted: January 28, 2019, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

                        I can't recall if it was Culler or not, but wasn't there a Hot Lotto winner right after Tipton "winning" his jackpot? That person would have won the won the money that Tipton tried to get.

                        CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                        A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                          Avatar
                          Chasing $ Millions.
                          White Shores- California
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                          Posted: January 28, 2019, 8:24 pm - IP Logged

                          I can't recall if it was Culler or not, but wasn't there a Hot Lotto winner right after Tipton "winning" his jackpot? That person would have won the won the money that Tipton tried to get.

                          You thinking of Larry Dawson rcb- that guy won “ $9 Mil” but said that it “ should have been $ 26 mil” had not Eddie screwed around with a prior drawing. I guess $9 mil is not good enough for Ol Lucky Larry. 

                           * 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
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                            Posted: January 28, 2019, 8:30 pm - IP Logged

                            Good point.  Doesn't the government seize money launderers and drug king pins monies as well as their assets such as houses, boats, airplanes etc.?  Seize and sell!!

                            l guess the government does not feel that they were personally gipped by Eddie. They seem to have washed their hands, given that it’s been reported that Eddie has paid hardly anything back thus far.Probably hoping to dig up his stash when he gets released.

                             * Voice of Reason *   

                             

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