Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) worker who was convicted of trying to rig the Hot Lotto game in 2010, was this week sentenced to ten years in prison. He was found guilty in July on two counts of fraud, following accusations that he tampered with lottery equipment to determine the winning numbers, before buying a ticket and attempting to get acquaintances to collect the prize, even though his job with MUSL meant he wasnâ€™t allowed to play the game.
He was said to have inserted a â€˜rootkitâ€™ program into the Hot Lotto draw computer to predetermine the numbers. The program then self-deleted so it could avoid detection, with Tipton covering his tracks by tampering with security cameras.
Iowa resident Tiptonâ€™s job at MUSL, which also administers the huge Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, was to ensure that no one could cheat the game, leading to Judge Jeffrey Farrell referring to his crime as â€œabout as large an invasion of trust as I can possibly imagineâ€. In passing sentencing, the judge explained that this had been one of the major factors in him handing down the maximum term possible.
The Hot Lotto case captured the imagination of the nation after Crawford Shaw, a New York attorney, attempted to collect the $14.3 million prize with just hours to go before it expired in December 2011. Shaw claimed to be acting on behalf of an investment company based in Belize, but withdrew his claim when Iowa Lottery officials demanded he name the ticketâ€™s true owner.
In late 2014, police released security camera footage of the ticket being purchased at a Des Moines Quick Trip store and put out an appeal to trace the man depicted. A number of Tiptonâ€™s co-workers confirmed that it was him, with the license plate of a car in the parking lot at the same time also linked to him. Tiptonâ€™s lawyer, Dean Stowers, had suggested in an interview with The Daily Beast in July that the person in the video could have been a â€œskinny man in a fat suitâ€ attempting to frame his client.
Stowers says he and his client will appeal the sentence, claiming Tipton had always been a productive member of the community and that no one had suffered any financial loss from the scheme.by
Updated March 30th, 2016