Scandal goes beyond jackpots to smaller prizes too
A friend of the former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association who is implicated in a jackpot-fixing scandal was given a winning Kansas Lottery ticket worth $15,000 in 2011 as an engagement gift, she said Wednesday.
Iowa prosecutors had Amy DeMoney testify Wednesday in a hearing for Eddie Tipton, who faces trial in July for ongoing criminal conduct and money laundering charges for games he allegedly fixed in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Separately, Tipton is appealing last year's fraud conviction related to a 2010 Iowa Hot Lotto ticket.
Iowa Assistant Attorney General Rob Sand alleges that Tipton installed software known as a root kit that enabled him to manipulate numbers in computers that were supposed to randomly generate number combinations for several lottery games. The program would then self-destruct leaving no trace. Tipton denies that allegation.
What tripped Tipton up, investigators say, was his decision to buy some of the winning tickets himself. Workers at the lottery association, which serves 37 states and U.S. territories, are prohibited from trying their luck.
In the case of the Kansas ticket, the state's lottery officials have previously said they believe Tipton bought two winning tickets for the "2by2" game at separate locations while driving through Kansas in December 2010. The Kansas Lottery said investigators believe the tickets were passed on to other individuals Tipton knew to be cashed.
DeMoney, a Waukee, Iowa, resident, said Wednesday that Tipton approached her in the spring of 2011 and told her he won some money in the lottery and he didn't want to turn in the ticket, worth about $15,000, because he could lose his job.
"He asked me if I would be willing to cash it in," she said. "He told me to consider it an engagement gift."
There was a catch, however. She had to drive to Kansas to cash in, and Tipton wanted $6,000 back in cash.
She said she cashed in the ticket sometime in May 2011 and contacted Tipton, who suggested they meet in the parking lot of a grocery store to hand off his share of the cash.
Court documents indicate that Sand plans on seeking restitution of nearly $2 million from Tipton if he's convicted at the upcoming trial scheduled for July 18. That's the accumulated estimate of jackpots paid out in the games Sand alleges were rigged.
Tipton faces 10 years for last year's fraud conviction, and his appeal is set for arguments before the Iowa Court of Appeals on June 16.
Tipton's attorney, Dean Stowers, says the state's evidence was insufficient to support the jury verdict, the judge should have dismissed the case because the statute of limitations had expired and the judge made several errors at trial regarding evidence and jury instructions.
Timeline of the biggest crime in US lottery history
The following is a compilation of Lottery Post news coverage chronicling the Hot Lotto mystery and subsequently discovered crime.
We start the timeline with a news story indicating that only 3 months remained for the $16 million Hot Lotto jackpot to be claimed.
- Deadline for claiming $16.5M Hot Lotto jackpot nears, Sep. 21, 2011
- Unclaimed Iowa lottery jackpot to expire Dec. 29, Dec. 1, 2011
- Iowa $16.5M Hot Lotto winner claims prize with two hours to spare, Dec. 29, 2011
- Iowa Lottery security chief bent on determining identity of jackpot winner, Jan. 10, 2012
- NY lawyer in lottery mystery travels to Iowa this week, Jan. 17, 2012
- Iowa Lottery security chief to grill NY lawyer over Hot Lotto ticket, Jan. 17, 2012
- Representative of Hot Lotto winner named in lawsuit, Jan. 20, 2012
- Hot Lotto trust representative won't name winner, Jan. 20, 2012
- Iowa Lottery threatens to deny jackpot payout if winner stays anonymous, Jan. 23, 2012
- Lawyer gives up $14 million Iowa lottery ticket claim, Jan. 26, 2012
- $14.3 million Hot Lotto prize claim withdrawn, Jan. 27, 2012
- Iowa Legislators satisfied with Lottery's handling of mystery jackpot winner, Feb. 1, 2012
- Iowa Lottery to give away millions from jackpot mystery, Feb. 26, 2012
- Iowa Lottery director: 50-50 that Hot Lotto mystery will be solved, Aug. 9, 2012
- Iowa officials trying to solve lotto mystery, may release surveillance video, Aug. 19, 2012
- 1 year later, Iowa Lottery still hunting for suspicious no-show winner, Jan. 30, 2013
- Inquiry in Iowa Lottery mystery touches Canada, Jul. 26, 2013
- Lottery jackpot probe heats up after immunity deal, Oct. 8, 2013
- Iowa Lottery still hunting mystery Hot Lotto winner [video], Oct. 10, 2014
- MUSL employee arrested in Hot Lotto jackpot mystery, Jan. 15, 2015
- BOMBSHELL: MUSL employee might have rigged Hot Lotto computerized drawing, Apr. 13, 2015
- Texas man charged in Iowa lottery case contests extradition, Apr. 20, 2015
- Extradition trial begins this week in $16.5M Hot Lotto fraud case, Jun. 7, 2015
- Inside the biggest lottery scam ever, Jul. 7, 2015
- Trial underway in world's biggest lottery fraud case, Jul. 14, 2015
- Lottery security chief: Rigging computerized game "sadly" possible, Jul. 15, 2015
- Prosecution rests in Hot Lotto trial, Jul. 16, 2015
- Defense quickly wraps up in Hot Lotto trial, Jul. 16, 2015
- Hot Lotto case moves to jury for deliberations, Jul. 17, 2015
- Former lottery security employee guilty of rigging $14.3M drawing, Jul. 20, 2015
- MUSL security worker who rigged drawing gets 10 years, Sep. 9, 2015
- HOT LOTTO DRAWING CHEAT CHARGED WITH RIGGING MORE JACKPOTS, Oct. 9, 2015
- Texas authorities had previously investigated brother of lottery cheat, Oct. 14, 2015
- Another $1.2M Hot Lotto jackpot rigged by Tipton, officials say, Nov. 21, 2015
- Jackpot-fixing investigation expands to more state lotteries, Dec. 18, 2015
- Prosecutors say Tipton rigged two jackpots he purchased tickets for in Kansas, Dec. 21, 2015
- Maine gives names of Hot Lotto winners to Iowa team looking into rigging scheme, Dec. 23, 2015
- S.C. Lottery assures public no computerized drawings used in state, Dec. 23, 2015
- Kansas lottery players questioning game's integrity, Dec. 23, 2015
- MUSL CHIEF OUSTED OVER JACKPOT-RIGGING SCANDAL, Dec. 23, 2015
- Lottery scandal unlikely to affect New Mexico, official says, Dec. 26, 2015
- Tipton granted delay in next trial until July, Dec. 29, 2015
- Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich to answer lottery player questions live Monday evening, Jan. 11, 2016
- First lawsuit in state lottery-fixing scandal seeks millions, Feb. 4, 2016
- MUSL seeks to dismiss lawsuit over rigged jackpot, Apr. 1, 2016
- Lottery scammer's brother facing criminal charges, Apr. 6, 2016
- Investigators find Tipton's software code to rig computerized lottery drawings, Apr. 7, 2016
- Lottery rigging scandal prompts security audit in South Dakota, Apr. 13, 2016
- Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Tommy Tipton in lottery rigging case, Apr. 22, 2016
- Third suspect surrenders in national lottery rigging scandal, Apr. 28, 2016
- Lottery scam investigation comes to Tennessee, May 11, 2016