A Lotto Scandal


With the most recent Powerball Jackpot looking to be 176 million dollars or higher, lottery fever is spreading faster than ever. As people rush to stores to buy their tickets some are doing so tentatively due to the state lottery-fixing scandal that was uncovered a year ago in Des Moines, Iowa.

Eddie Tipton was the former security director at the Multi State Lottery Association’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. The Association is run by thirty-seven different state lotteries who use the organization to pick the winning numbers for their lotteries. Tipton used his position there to gain access to the random number generator and rigged it, using software that gave him the winning numbers of various jackpots in several different states. He would then go on to pass on these numbers to friends and colleagues. They in turn would proceed to cash in for the winning ticket and split the money with Tipton.

Tipton’s scam was foiled when he went to cash in a lottery ticket with the winning numbers in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was caught on surveillance tape. Authorities had been researching another case when employees at the Multi State Lottery Association identified Tipton on the tapes. Since Tipton was an employee of a Lottery vendor, he was prohibited from participating in the

Eddie Tipton
Eddie Tipton

lotteries, and he also had access to the computers making him look all the more suspicious. After the authorities looked into Tipton’s activities, the police realized what he was doing.

Last year, Tipton was found guilty of fraud in Iowa and was given a ten year prison sentence, which he is currently trying to appeal. He still faces charges in four other states where he had a hand in rigging the jackpots. This number is believed to be substantially larger since he had access to thirty seven states lotteries and as the investigation into his crimes continue.

When asked by the Associated Press to comment on the scandal, Iowa State representative Bobby Kaufmann said, “I don’t know that there’s enough protections to keep a rogue employee from doing what they did again. All I know is that it’s unacceptable that it happened and that we want to know that it’s fixed. And if it’s not, we need to do something to fix it.”

A legislative committee in Iowa is currently looking into the Lottery Scandal. The Multistate Lottery Association recently fired their executive director Charles Strutt, while Tipton walks free on a bond, awaiting future sentencing.


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