Hot Lotto rigging lawsuit gains class action status

Tipton confessed to rigging random number generators to predict jackpot numbers

Hot Lotto rigging lawsuit gains class action status
Former lottery computer programmer Eddie Tipton, right, is taken into custody after his sentencing hearing, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Judge Brad McCall sentenced Tipton to up to 25 years in prison for rigging a computer program to enable him to pick winning numbers in several lottery games over six years. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Source: Charlie Neibergall)

(Gray News) – The case that inspired the Game Show Network documentary “Cover Story: The Notorious Lottery Heist” is headed back to court.

A lawsuit against the Multi-State Lottery Agency gained class-action status on Friday, according to the Associated Press. At the center of it sits the Hot Lotto scandal.

Eddie Tipton, who used to work as an information security director at MUSL, confessed to rigging a random number generator in Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Kansas to commit years of fraud.

According to the Des Moines Register, he’s currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in Clarinda, Iowa. Attorneys spearheading the class-action are seeking a deposition with Tipton at the prison.

The attorneys are representing customers who purchased losing Hot Lotto tickets for roughly 20 drawings between 2005 and 2013. Their game had been tainted by Tipton’s software, which allowed him to predict winning numbers on certain days of the year.

According to The Register, a $14 million jackpot went unclaimed for nearly a year, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. Several attempts were made to claim the December 2010 prize on behalf of an anonymous, off-shore trust company in Belize.

The Iowa Lottery Office ultimately denied the claims because they were made anonymously.

Investigators turned to surveillance footage at the convenience store to find the person who purchased it. That led them to Tipton, The Register reported.

His brother, Tommy, and close friend, Robert Rhodes, also admitted to winning sums of money with lottery numbers given to them by Eddie Tipton.

This isn’t the first lawsuit borne out of this case. Larry Dawson, who won a $6 million jackpot in the Hot Lotto, sued the Iowa Lottery and MUSL in 2016 in an attempt to get a larger jackpot.

As is the case in many lotteries, when the jackpot is won, it resets at a lower amount. Dawson’s argument was that Tipton’s illegitimate jackpot win caused a reset that never should have happened, therefore Dawson was entitled to more money.

Dawson is seeking an additional $10 million, the AP reported.

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