Lottery Vendor Employee Arrested in HotLotto Jackpot Mystery

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has made an arrest in the four-year-old case involving a winning Hot Lotto ticket worth more than $16 million.

Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, of Norwalk, was arrested on Thursday. He has been charged with two counts of fraud, which are class D felonies.

tipton_eddieTipton is Director of Information Security for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which is a vendor of the Iowa Lottery. His job prohibits him from playing the lottery. Assistant Director of the DCI Dave Jobes says Tipton attempted to claim the prize with the assistance of others.

"The allegations for these charges stem from his statutory prohibition on playing or winning the lottery. That prohibition was due to the nature of his employment with the Multi-State Lottery Association where he currently works as the Director of Information Securities," says Jobes.

The complaint against Tipton says he lied to investigators about buying the ticket and told them he was in Texas at the time. Cell phone records proved that was a false statement. The complaint also details the complicated maneuvering Tipton did in an attempt to claim the prize. He allegedly used friends in Texas, one of which was a lawyer, to contact a Canadian man about claiming the prize because the winner wanted to remain anonymous. The Canadian man, Philip Johnston, contacted the lottery about claiming the prize but the lottery says his account of how the ticket was bought was not consistent with the facts of the case.

Another attorney, Crawford Shaw, contacted the Iowa Lottery the day the ticket was to expire and said he represented Hexam Investments Ltd., the holder of the ticket. Johnston was listed as the Trustor/President of the company.

The lottery continued to question the validity of the claim because it could not determine who purchased the ticket and refused to pay the jackpot.

"We have strong security procedures in place to protect and ensure the integrity of our games and we absolutely believe this case indicates those processes worked to protect lottery players , lottery games and lottery prizes," says Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich.

The Hot Lotto ticket was bought at a Des Moines Quick Trip in 2010.  It went unclaimed until just hours before the ticket expired. An attorney who claimed to represent the winner came forward with the ticket. He refused to identify the winner or answer questions about the transaction then withdrew the claim.

"We all know there will always be people who will try and beat the system.  We have and will continue to update our security procedures to identify vulnerabilities to protect against them," says Rich.

The DCI has been investigating ever since, trying to determine what happened. They say despite Tipton's arrest, they are continuing to investigate the case.

Read the complaint below:

10 comments

    • Gib Pleh

      Ever notice how many DCI investigators are assigned to the casinos, race tracks, and lottery versus how many are assigned to investigating crimes against children? Shows where the legislature’s priorities are: MONEY. Ask any sheriff in the state, they’ll tell you.

  • John Smith

    So, what, he is charged with violating his work rules against purchasing lottery tickets? Is that the crime, here, or is the crime not being honest with the DCI about it when asked?

    See, because it sounds to me like four years of investigation for not much…

    • intelling Dude

      Dude are not that smart to actually know that this dude knew winning numbers before he purchased tickets? The lottery is all rigged.

      • ben smith

        Take it a step further. how about if he bought his tickets by quick pick and then hacked the computer that generates the winning numbers. As long as a computer generates the winner numbers, all winning numbers are suspect. It is easy enough to rig the game with dishonest employees but when you use computer it becomes an almost impossible fraud to detect or defeat.

    • ben smith

      especially when you consider that the winning number a picked by a computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. And this guy was head of secuirty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ben smith

    You all are missing the big picture (there’s an elephant hiding right in front of you). Did this guy that was in charge of their security also hack the computer that generates the winning numbers for Hot lotto. Please do not give me a stupid reply that their computer are very secure and cant be hacked. The only fools in this all saga are you useful idiots that purchased Hot lotto tickets only to have the lottery not have to pay any real winner. They gained from his action while you lost from it. The didn’t send out the clip earlier only because they already knew it had to be an inside job.

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