Journalist faces subpoena in lawsuit over lottery scandal
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An Iowa journalist who wrote a book about the lottery insider who rigged jackpots in several states has been subpoenaed to turn over notes related to his reporting.
Perry Beeman received the subpoena last week from lawyers for Larry Dawson, an Iowa jackpot winner who contends that the rigging reduced his prize by millions of dollars.
Beeman co-wrote the recent book "The $80 billion Gamble" with former Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich. It tells the story of how now-imprisoned lottery security contractor Eddie Tipton altered number-picking programs on computers to win jackpots in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma.
The subpoena orders Beeman to turn over his correspondence with Rich since January 2018, including notes related to four interviews they conducted last year.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Beeman intends to fight the request, which demands the records by Sept. 16.
The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that reporter's sources, unpublished information and notes are privileged material and may be subject to disclosure only in limited circumstances.
Tipton had targeted Powerball, book says
Eddie Tipton unsuccessfully lobbied for his computer software to be used in Powerball drawings, an act that could have dramatically broadened the scope of his crimes, the former head of the Iowa Lottery wrote in "The $80 Billion Gamble".
The book, which was release earlier this summer, provides insider details about how Eddie Tipton and his accomplices flubbed their long-running national scam through seemingly inconsequential lies and brazen confidence, using a system that critics contend continues to lack proper oversight.
"One of the reasons that we put this book together was to document what happened because somebody is always trying to beat the system," said Terry Rich, the co-author and former Iowa Lottery director, who retired in December.
Tipton was a former security chief at the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, an umbrella gaming organization that is owned and operated by 36-member lotteries, including the Iowa Lottery. In 2005, he hijacked the organization's system by adding a software code that allowed him to predict the winning numbers of what should have been random computer drawings.
The corrupt software was replicated to games in as many as 17 states, according to transcripts of Tipton's confession to prosecutors that the Register obtained last year. Tipton also pushed the association to implement his software on the multi-state Powerball game — which has produced billion-dollar jackpots — but the association's board rejected the idea, Rich says in the book.
The scam began to fall apart in 2011 because of an Iowa law that requires lottery winners to publicly identify themselves. That law ultimately exposed the buyer of a winning $16.5 million 2010 jackpot at a Des Moines convenience store as Tipton.
Rich's book — co-written by longtime Iowa journalist and former Register reporter Perry Beeman — outlines how details about such things as hot dogs, a search for Bigfoot and Tipton's sloppy attire unraveled the scam.
Eddie Tipton and his brother Tommy pleaded guilty in 2017 to felony crimes related to the rigging scheme and agreed to repay $2.3 million in restitution and court fees. Eddie Tipton was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Tommy Tipton, a former Texas magistrate, was sentenced to 75 days in jail.
The Tipton brothers have so far repaid less than $1,300 despite owning nearly $2 million worth of property in Texas, a Register investigation published in April showed. Iowa never paid the $16.5 million winning ticket and is not one of the states that is owed restitution.
Laws or policies in some other states that allow lottery winners to claim prizes anonymously or without publicly identifying themselves — like one vetoed last year by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — would have almost certainly meant that Tipton wouldn't have been apprehended, Rich said.
"What this hopefully will do is to encourage customers and players of lotteries across America to not be afraid to call and say, 'Hey, this didn't feel right when I bought this ticket,' and for lotteries to ask the key questions," Rich said.
Officials of groups like Stop Predatory Gambling, based in Washington, D.C., contend lotteries in the United States are largely self-regulated, without the oversight that is required of other gaming facilities such as casinos or horse tracks.
Gary Dickey, a Des Moines attorney, represents plaintiffs in an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the Multi-State Lottery Association in connection to Eddie Tipton's crimes. He says Tipton's crimes should be a wake-up call triggering national lottery regulatory reform.
"To give credit where credit is due, the Iowa Lottery's practice of investigating winners is the only reason Eddie Tipton got caught," Dickey said in response to the new book.
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.
- Iowa Lottery security chief bent on determining identity of jackpot winner, Jan. 10, 2012
- NY lawyer in lottery mystery travels to Iowa this week, Jan. 17, 2012
- Iowa Lottery security chief to grill NY lawyer over Hot Lotto ticket, Jan. 17, 2012
- Representative of Hot Lotto winner named in lawsuit, Jan. 20, 2012
- Hot Lotto trust representative won't name winner, Jan. 20, 2012
- Iowa Lottery threatens to deny jackpot payout if winner stays anonymous, Jan. 23, 2012
- Lawyer gives up $14 million Iowa lottery ticket claim, Jan. 26, 2012
- $14.3 million Hot Lotto prize claim withdrawn, Jan. 27, 2012
- Iowa Legislators satisfied with Lottery's handling of mystery jackpot winner, Feb. 1, 2012
- Iowa Lottery to give away millions from jackpot mystery, Feb. 26, 2012
- Iowa Lottery director: 50-50 that Hot Lotto mystery will be solved, Aug. 9, 2012
- Iowa officials trying to solve lotto mystery, may release surveillance video, Aug. 19, 2012
- MUSL employee arrested in Hot Lotto jackpot mystery, Jan. 15, 2015
- BOMBSHELL: MUSL employee might have rigged Hot Lotto computerized drawing, Apr. 13, 2015
- Texas man charged in Iowa lottery case contests extradition, Apr. 20, 2015
- Extradition trial begins this week in $16.5M Hot Lotto fraud case, Jun. 7, 2015
- Inside the biggest lottery scam ever, Jul. 7, 2015
- Trial underway in world's biggest lottery fraud case, Jul. 14, 2015
- Lottery security chief: Rigging computerized game "sadly" possible, Jul. 15, 2015
- Prosecution rests in Hot Lotto trial, Jul. 16, 2015
- Defense quickly wraps up in Hot Lotto trial, Jul. 16, 2015
- Hot Lotto case moves to jury for deliberations, Jul. 17, 2015
- Former lottery security employee guilty of rigging $14.3M drawing, Jul. 20, 2015
- MUSL security worker who rigged drawing gets 10 years, Sep. 9, 2015
- HOT LOTTO DRAWING CHEAT CHARGED WITH RIGGING MORE JACKPOTS, Oct. 9, 2015
- Texas authorities had previously investigated brother of lottery cheat, Oct. 14, 2015
- Another $1.2M Hot Lotto jackpot rigged by Tipton, officials say, Nov. 21, 2015
- Jackpot-fixing investigation expands to more state lotteries, Dec. 18, 2015
- Prosecutors say Tipton rigged two jackpots he purchased tickets for in Kansas, Dec. 21, 2015
- Maine gives names of Hot Lotto winners to Iowa team looking into rigging scheme, Dec. 23, 2015
- S.C. Lottery assures public no computerized drawings used in state, Dec. 23, 2015
- Kansas lottery players questioning game's integrity, Dec. 23, 2015
- MUSL CHIEF OUSTED OVER JACKPOT-RIGGING SCANDAL, Dec. 23, 2015
- Lottery scandal unlikely to affect New Mexico, official says, Dec. 26, 2015
- Tipton granted delay in next trial until July, Dec. 29, 2015
- Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich to answer lottery player questions live Monday evening, Jan. 11, 2016
- First lawsuit in state lottery-fixing scandal seeks millions, Feb. 4, 2016
- MUSL seeks to dismiss lawsuit over rigged jackpot, Apr. 1, 2016
- Lottery scammer's brother facing criminal charges, Apr. 6, 2016
- Investigators find Tipton's software code to rig computerized lottery drawings, Apr. 7, 2016
- Lottery rigging scandal prompts security audit in South Dakota, Apr. 13, 2016
- Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Tommy Tipton in lottery rigging case, Apr. 22, 2016
- Third suspect surrenders in national lottery rigging scandal, Apr. 28, 2016
- Lottery scam investigation comes to Tennessee, May 11, 2016
- Investigators find another friend of Tipton who cashed rigged lottery prize, May 11, 2016
- Convicted computerized drawing fraudster argues Iowa court appeal, Jun. 16, 2016
- US Senate panel demands info in lottery scandal, Jun. 22, 2016
- Lottery rigging trial to be moved out of Des Moines, Jun. 27, 2016
- Eddie Tipton's new trial delayed until 2017, Jul. 1, 2016
- Iowa court reverses part of Tipton's lottery fraud conviction, Jul. 28, 2016
- Internal investigation concludes Tipton acted alone to rig lottery drawings, Aug. 10, 2016
- Prosecutors say 2 more men may be linked to lottery riggings, Aug. 24, 2016
- Judge: winner's lawsuit in lottery-fixing case can continue, Oct. 13, 2016
- Alleged lottery scandal conspirator to enter new plea, Nov. 14, 2016
- Accused lottery rigger Eddie Tipton facing new Wisconsin charges, Dec. 22, 2016
- Man files lawsuit over rigged lottery jackpots, Jan. 4, 2017
- Trials for Tipton brothers charged in lottery scandal delayed, Jan. 8, 2017
- Former MUSL official received severance amid lottery jackpot scandal, Jan. 10, 2017
- Texas man pleads guilty to fraud in lottery scandal case, Jan. 11, 2017
- Iowa Supreme Court hears lottery rigging case, Feb. 14, 2017
- Kansas files lawsuit against accused lottery rigger, Mar. 16, 2017
- Best friend to testify against Tipton at July lottery rigging trial, Mar. 31, 2017
- Mastermind of lottery fraud will explain how he rigged jackpots, Jun. 12, 2017
- FBI missed rigged jackpot in 2006 before lottery scheme grew, Jun. 19, 2017
- The 5 lottery jackpots Tipton and his friends stole, Jun. 20, 2017
- Lottery jackpot rigger's Iowa convictions dismissed, Jun. 23, 2017
- IT'S OFFICIAL: Tipton pleads guilty to rigging computerized lottery drawings, Jun. 29, 2017
- Lottery rigging accomplice used Wisconsin payout for offshore tax scam, Jul. 6, 2017
- Hot Lotto multi-state lottery game to end in October, Aug. 9, 2017
- Lottery rigging mastermind sentenced to 25 years in prison, Aug. 22, 2017
- Winner sues Colorado Lottery 12 years after rigged drawing, Oct. 5, 2017
- Lottery scammer rigged more drawings than first thought, records show, Feb. 19, 2018
- How a gaming geek with a checkered past pulled off the biggest lottery scam in U.S. history, Mar. 16, 2018
- Infamous lottery scammer says US computerized lottery drawings remain fatally flawed, Mar. 19, 2018
- Iowa Lottery wins International Gaming-Compliance award for work in lottery rigging investigation, Apr. 19, 2018
- The man who cracked the lottery, May 3, 2018
- Memo: Iowa Lottery kept selling games after security warning, Aug. 1, 2018
- Investigation finds lottery scamming Tipton brothers have repaid virtually nothing, Dec. 27, 2018
- Lawyers seek to depose lottery fraud mastermind in prison, Jan. 21, 2019
- Iowa lottery lawsuit granted class action, affecting 7.2 million tickets in 19 states, Jan. 28, 2019
- Colorado man who unwittingly split a $4.8M jackpot with scammer is fighting the Colorado Lottery, Apr. 15, 2019
- Lottery-scamming brothers avoid asset seizures by transferring property to their mother, Apr. 29, 2019
- Lottery winner can seek bigger prize at trial, judge rules, May 17, 2019
- Court rejects Colorado man's claim to full $4.8M lottery jackpot he unwittingly split with scammers, Jun. 21, 2019
- Lottery losers could get paid after lottery scam lawsuit settles for $4.3 million, Jul. 22, 2019
AP, Des Moines Register, Lottery Post Staff
Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
December 12, 2012
I think Lucky Larry’s attorney is getting desperate. Dawson wanted nothing to do with a settlement dealing with Tipton, and it’s possible that the boat has sailed. It’s as l said before “ leave the dinner table when you full, instead of sticking around for dessert.”
* Voice of Reason *
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.
USN United States Navy
August 2, 2014
I believe that anonymous States require an in person interview with the actual winner. This requires trust between the players and the Lottery Officials. Also the winners need to trust that their identity will not be released.
"We are all in this together!"