Share
Home › News

Website now accepting claims in $4.3 million lottery scam settlement

Sep 9, 2019, 9:39 pm

5 commentsText Size

Insider Buzz

A website that was set up for people with losing tickets to seek refunds under a $4.3 million lottery scam settlement is now functioning.

Since 2011, Lottery Post has been reporting on the multi-state lottery jackpot and subsequent investigation and prosecution of the rigged computerized drawing scandal. Those who wish to submit a claim can do so online at www.lotterygamesettlement.com or call 877-872-3816 for more information.

A class-action lawsuit linked to the largest lottery scam in U.S. history has been settled for $4.3 million, benefiting potentially millions of people with losing tickets, according to a statement from an attorney in the case.

The settlement will refund the cost of tickets purchased for nine specific drawing dates for games sold in 33 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., between Nov. 23, 2005, and May 23, 2013. 

The lotterygamesettlement.com website has been set up to assist people who seek refunds under the settlement.

Proof of purchase — primarily, copies of losing tickets — is not required to submit a claim for up to 10 non-winning tickets, but settlement administrators have the right to request verification to prevent fraud.

Refunds will vary based on the value of the ticket, whether the claimant has proof of purchase, and the number of valid claims submitted, the Register was told by attorneys in the case. Online court documents had not been filed as of Monday at noon.

The settlement concludes the decade-long saga springing from a computer-assisted scam that Eddie Tipton, former IT director for the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, ran on the national lottery. Tipton added a secret code to "random" number-generating computer software in 2005 that allowed him to narrow the drawing-winning odds in multiple games from as great as 5 million-to-1 down to 200-to-1. 

Tipton's scam went undetected for years, and the code was replicated in lottery computer software across the nation. He hijacked at least five winning drawings totaling more than $24 million in prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, court records show.

In 2017, he was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

The lottery association — commonly referenced as MUSL — is an umbrella organization that is owned and operated by 36-member lotteries, including the Iowa Lottery. Its executives previously have said they no longer use the computer programs Tipton designed.

MUSL has denied and continues to deny any gaming wrongdoing, according to the settlement statement sent to the Register by Blake Hanson, an attorney for Burlington resident Dale Culler, who is one of at least three people who have filed lawsuits naming MUSL in connection with the rigged games.

The association chose to settle based on expected litigation expenses and uncertain risks should the lawsuit go to trial, according to information shared with the Register.

Court documents show Culler spent $63 to purchase tickets in two games he believes were affected by Tipton's scam. MUSL has agreed not to oppose paying 30% of the settlement — $1.29 million — for Culler's legal fees as well as a $20,000 "incentive award" for spearheading the lawsuit. Those payments will be deducted from the $4.3 million available for refunds.

The class-action lawsuit was initially linked to at least 7.2 million lottery tickets, but some of the games were removed from the list because they did not use Tipton's software.  The settlement agreements do not indicate how many losing tickets remain eligible for refunds.

The statement issued by Hanson on Monday offered no further comment beyond stating: "MUSL remains committed to the integrity and fairness of the multi-jurisdictional and state lottery games that its members offer."

Both parties declined further comment.

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.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Welcome Guest

Your last visit: Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 6:52 pm

Log In

Log InCancel

Forgot your username?

Forgot your password?