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The Man Behind USA's Biggest Lottery Scam Who Successfully Rigged the Draw 5 Times

Tipton was convicted back in 2015 after he rigged a $14.3 million drawing of MUSL's lottery game Hot Lotto.
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Waldemar
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Waldemar

The Hot Lotto Fraud scandal which was a lottery rigging scandal was finally out in the open after the mastermind Eddie Raymond Tipton who was the former information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association confessed to planning and executing the entire scandal. Tipton was convicted back in 2015 after he rigged a $14.3 million drawing of MUSL's lottery game Hot Lotto. He later confessed to conducting the fraud in states like Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Oklahoma. He and his brother were later accused of rigging other lottery drawings, dating back as far as 2005, as per DM Register.


The scheme was first captured on CCTV footage of purchasing a ticket for a $16.5 million jackpot at a Des Moines convenience store.

Tipton chalked out a plan and with it, he improved the chance of winning the massive jackpot. In 2005, he came up with a cryptic computer code that allowed him to massively slim the odds of choosing winning numbers. According to court records, he did this in at least five different states as mentioned.

In one such case, a $16.5 million prize was unclaimed for nearly a year until Tipton tried to claim the jackpot on behalf of an anonymous. The state had rules that winners cannot remain anonymous and therefore his request was rejected by the officials.

Later CCTV footage showed him buying the tickets. This led to his arrest on two counts of fraud for attempting to illegally participate in a lottery game as an employee of the organization.

Pexels | Tara Winstead
Pexels | Tara Winstead

His trial began in April 2015. There was suspicion that Tipton had attempted to claim the tickets. Prosecutors alleged that he had rigged the entire Hot Lotto draw on December 29, 2010. Hot Lotto was conducted using a random number generator running on a computer in MUSL's Des Moines facility.

The computer was in a locked glass room and was accessible by only two people at the time. One of them was Tipton who was let into the room to change the time on the draw counter so that it would reflect daylight saving time. It was alleged that while he was in the room he used a USB flash drive to install a self-destructing virus in the system. 

Pexels | Anna Shvets
Pexels | Anna Shvets

Lottery investigators said that there were at least three more instances where Tipton rigged the system. In November of 2005, he along with his brother won a $568,990 jackpot prize share in a Colorado Lottery drawing, he was also one of the people who constructed Colorado's random number generator. Again in 2007, he won  $783,257 in a Wisconsin Lottery.

Again in 2011, he won $1.2 million. The money was transferred to  Kyle Conn, an owner of a construction company in Texas. However, prosecutors say that even this money was somehow linked with Tipton. 


Tipton was first convicted in 2015 and was found guilty of two counts of fraud. He was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment but remained free on bond pending an appeal. In 2017, Tipton confessed in court to having installed the rigging malware.

"I wrote software that included code that allowed me to technically predict winning numbers and I gave those numbers to other individuals who then won the lottery and shared those winnings with me," he said at the time.

He also confessed about fixing lotteries in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Kansas as well as Iowa. He was then sentenced to 25 years in prison but his attorneys claim that he could receive parole in three to four years. Along with this, he was also "ordered" to pay about $3 million in restitution.