Mastermind of lottery fraud will tell how he rigged jackpots

Olive Rios
June 13, 2017

Officials says even though Tipton admitted to rigging the Wisconsin Megabucks Lotto Jackpot, he is still considered innocent in the state of Iowa.

Wisconsin prosecutors released the agreement Monday after Eddie Tipton pleaded guilty to theft and computer crime charges in Madison.

Tipton is expected to plead guilty to the Iowa charge on June 29 and will be sentenced sometime after that.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A former lottery computer worker at the center of a multi-state scandal has pleaded guilty in Wisconsin.

Tipton was security director for the Multi-State Lottery Association. Investigators say Tipton designed his code so that on three days of the year, he could predict winning numbers in some games.

Tipton further agreed to pay $409,600 in restitution to Wisconsin for his half of the proceeds split with Rhodes, and also agreed to pay restitution to Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas for similar fraudulent lottery wins. Other associates were involved but haven't faced charges. The association and state lotteries say they have taken a number of steps to prevent insider fraud in the future.

Iowa put a stop to the scheme after the state did not allow Tipton to cash in a $14 million jackpot in 2010.

"We won't count our chickens until they hatch, and until all our proceedings are finished here in Iowa we won't call anything the end of the road", said Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand.

Tipton and his Wisconsin attorney, John Bradley, declined comment outside the courtroom. Between his charges in both Iowa and Wisconsin, he faces up to 30.5 years in prison, which are said to be served in Iowa.

"We're glad he's made a decision to take responsibility for his actions and we hope the Multi-State Lottery Association follows suit", said Des Moines attorney Nicholas Mauro, who's representing plaintiffs in two cases.

Rhodes, of Sugar Land, Texas, earlier pleaded guilty, agreeing to repay Wisconsin his share of a 2007 jackpot and to testify against his former best friend. Rhodes then used a limited liability company to claim the prize in Wisconsin. Tipton gave him index cards containing a series of numbers for him to play for the December 29 drawing - one of the calendar days when Tipton could predict winning combinations.

The investigation started with a mystery in 2011. No one was ever able to claim that $16 million prize. We're also grateful for the support of former Governor Terry Branstad and Governor Kim Reynolds, for the priority that they have placed on protecting the integrity of the lottery system here in Iowa.

We have said all along that the Iowa Lottery will follow the facts of this investigation wherever they may lead. He was convicted of fraud related to that ticket after a 2015 trial, where Tommy Tipton insisted that couldn't have been his brother on the video. Wisconsin investigators recovered an old computer from the 2007 drawing, and a forensic analysis revealed how Tipton's code worked.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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