Fraudster Lottery Official is Now Accused of Rigging Other Games
A former lottery official sentenced to 10 years in prison for rigging a $14 million lottery jackpot in Iowa has now been linked to alleged scams in two other states.
Prosecutors say 52-year-old Eddie Tipton used his insider's knowledge to rig a lottery drawing in Colorado in 2005, when his brother Tommy, a Justice of the Peace in Texas, won $569,000. Tommy Tipton has not been charged.
One of Eddie Tipton's lifelong friends, Robert Rhodes, won a $783,000 Megabucks payout in Wisconsin in 2007. Prosecutors say it was no coincidence that he knew Tipton. Rhodes is fighting the charges against him.
Tipton is charged with ongoing criminal conduct in the tampering of lottery equipment. He turned himself in and was later released after posting a $25,000 bond.
The case was originally broken when surveillance video was released showing a customer buying the $14 million winning ticket in a convenience store in Des Moines in 2010. In the video, a man wearing a hood turned out to be Tipton, who was director of security for the state lottery at the time.
Prosecutors say he hacked into the lottery’s computers making it pick those numbers.
Iowa lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer told INSIDE EDITION: “He somehow manipulated the programs so he could predict the numbers that would be drawn and then he bought tickets that would match those numbers.”
A surveillance video at the state lottery headquarters shows Tipton tinkering with security cameras so he could not be seen installing the software program that rigged the contest.
Tipton was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison. Leaving court pending appeal, he said he was stunned by the sentence.
He said he was in: “Shock! That’s it.”
He was asked: “Do you think it's fair for what they're saying you did?”
“I’m being told no comment by the attorneys,” he replied.