The long-running lottery jackpot investigation that began here in Iowa has been expanded again, now involving lottery jackpot prizes in four states, the latest in Oklahoma. A felony criminal conduct charge filed last month that stemmed from jackpots won in Iowa, Colorado and Wisconsin now also includes the new details from Oklahoma.
At the time that all of the jackpots were won, the man charged in the case worked as an information security consultant at a vendor organization within the lottery industry. That man, Eddie Tipton, later became the director of information security at that same vendor organization, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), which is based in Urbandale. MUSL handles day-to-day functions such as prize drawings in some lotto games on behalf of U.S. lotteries. In his work at MUSL, Tipton evaluated security systems at many U.S. lotteries and provided other information-technology duties, including software programming.
Tipton was convicted this summer on two felony counts of fraud in the case that started the investigation nearly five years ago: the attempted claim of a lottery jackpot in 2010 here in Iowa. Then in October, a felony charge of ongoing criminal conduct was filed against Tipton that initially encompassed lottery jackpot prizes won in three different states: the attempted claim here in Iowa; a jackpot claimed in 2005 in Colorado; and another in 2007 in Wisconsin. The evidence in the criminal conduct charge now also includes a jackpot prize claim in 2011 in Oklahoma.
Tipton is charged with violating Iowa’s ongoing criminal conduct statute. The criminal complaint against him stipulates that he helped build the random-number generator equipment used in the jackpot drawings for the prizes involved. The complaint also stipulates that according to court testimony earlier this year, he had the technical ability and opportunity to tamper with the drawing equipment that picks the winning lottery numbers in order to make the numbers predictable.
The Iowa and Oklahoma jackpots were both won in the multi-state Hot Lotto game, while the jackpots in Colorado and Wisconsin were won in different games offered only in those states.
From the beginning, we here at the Iowa Lottery asked investigators to follow the evidence wherever it led to help us get to the bottom of the situation. This latest development is another step in the process to protect lotteries, our games, our players and the billions of dollars at stake for the worthy causes that lotteries benefit.