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Lottery Rigging Mastermind Pleads Guilty in Iowa

Eddie Tipton (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The man responsible for rigging an Iowa Lottery computer so he could win a Hot Lotto jackpot has finally admitted his guilt in an Iowa courtroom.

Eddie Tipton was in Polk County court Thursday morning where he pleaded guilty to ongoing criminal conduct for his role as the mastermind of a scheme that saw his brother and friends win rigged jackpots in several states.

While Tipton was the Information Security Director for the Multi-State Lottery Association he tampered with the code of the computers that were supposed to randomly choose the winning numbers for jackpots. His scheme was brought to light after he tried to claim a $16 million jackpot from a 2010 Hot Lotto drawing.

Tipton bought the ticket and tried to claim it through several avenues, while remaining anonymous. The jackpot wasn’t able to be claimed before the deadline expired.

Tipton was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to prison, but through appeals to higher courts in Iowa those convictions would eventually be dismissed.

Other similar cases were discovered in Colorado, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin and Tipton was charged in federal court. Earlier this month he took a plea deal in Wisconsin to charges of racketeering, theft-false representation, and four charges of computer crime-modify data. As part of the deal, Tipton agreed to plead guilty to ongoing criminal conduct in the Iowa case.

A 25-year sentence has been recommended in the plea deal but the sentencing will be held at another date.