Prosecutor: Former lottery official fixed 2011 Oklahoma game


DES MOINES, Iowa | A former lottery security officer who was convicted of rigging an Iowa Hot Lotto game an attempt to win a $14 million jackpot also fixed a game in Oklahoma, an Iowa prosecutor said Thursday.

It is the fourth lottery game in four separate states that prosecutors allege Eddie Tipton fixed. Prosecutors already had accused him of rigging games in Wisconsin and Colorado.

Tipton, 51, was convicted in July by a jury in Des Moines of fraud for rigging a 2010 Iowa Hot Lotto game.

Last month, Iowa prosecutors filed new criminal conduct and money laundering charges after finding Tipton’s brother and a friend won lottery jackpots in Colorado and Wisconsin.

Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand mentioned the Oklahoma allegation during a court hearing on Thursday. He said further details are provided in sealed court documents and he couldn’t discuss them.

Tipton was an information security worker at the Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association, a lottery security agency that provides computers designed to randomly generate numbers for lottery drawings in several states. He had been working at MUSL since 2003 and was promoted to information security director in 2013.

As part of his job, Tipton helped build the random number generators sent out to various states contracting with MUSL.

In the Iowa case, prosecutors alleged he used specially designed stealth software to fix the numbers for a December 2010 Hot Lotto drawing, then bought a ticket with those numbers to win the jackpot. It was never paid, however, because Tipton, as an employee of a lottery vendor, was prohibited by Iowa rules from playing. Prosecutors said others tried to cash the ticket for him but were unsuccessful because Iowa also does not pay lottery jackpots to winners who refuse to identify themselves.

A 2005 lottery jackpot in Colorado worth $4.8 million had a payout of more than $560,000 that was claimed by a friend of Tipton’s brother, Tommy Tipton, of Texas, according to authorities who say the brother asked that friend collect the money on his behalf.

In the complaint outlining the new charges last month, state investigators said Tipton purchased a home in Iowa within months of his brother’s jackpot. Investigators said bank records show that the friend in Texas, who has not been charged, transferred tens of thousands of dollars to Tipton within 18 months of the Wisconsin payout.

That 2007 jackpot worth $2 million had a payout of more than $780,000 and was claimed by a holding company owned by a person authorities describe as Tipton’s best friend. Prosecutors say he also has been linked to Tipton’s Hot Lotto case.

Tipton’s attorney, Dean Stowers, said his client continues to fight the charges.

“Mr. Tipton continues to pursue his appeal from the prior verdict and judgment of the court and will challenge these charges through the court process. We expect to prevail,” he said.