Tommy Tipton Charged with Felony Criminal Conduct Charges in Rigged Lottery Case
Iowa prosecutors have introduced felony “criminal conduct” charges against Tommy Tipton, the brother of convicted lottery rigger, Eddie Tipton. Tommy Tipton surrendered to Iowa authorities on Wednesday and was released on a $25,000 bond.
The charges come from an attempt by the brothers to rig the Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL). Eddie Tipton was the head of security for the the Multi-State Lottery Association’s (MUSL). When people associated with the Tipton brothers had a string of lottery wins, investigators got suspicious.
Convicted of Rigging the RNG
The 52-year old Eddie Tipton, who lived in Norwalk, was convicted of rigging a lotto-producing computer with a pre-programmed set of numbers. At a trial whicn ended in late 2015, Eddie Tipton was shown to have installed “rootkit” in the MUSL lottery’s random number generator. This rootkit produced a non-random number, allowing anyone buying that particular set of numbers to win the lottery.
Two 5-Year Concurrent Sentences
Currently, Eddie Tipton is serving a 10-year sentence for rigging the lottery. He is awaiting a similar “criminal conduct” trial as his brother. In the intervening months, authorities have been able to reverse engineer the RNG and determine how Tipton produced his winning results.
Don Smith of the Iowa Criminal Division of Investigation said his team has been able to reverse-engineer the coding which was installed on the Wisconsin Lottery’s random number generator. Breaking that code allowed the team to see how Eddie Tipton rigged the lottery.
Reproducing the Lotto Drawings
Breaking the code allowed the investigators to recreate the draws, reproducing predictable numbers. The code allowed for specific results to happen on November 29 and December 29 each year. For those results to happen, two other conditions had to happen. In that way, the results would sometimes be random, but sometimes could be rigged to help a lotto player.
Between 2005 and 2011, Eddie Tipton won the lottery 6 different times. Two of the dates when the wins happened were the dates which have been cracked already. Clearly, other preconditions were set into the rootkit.
2011 Lottery Winnings
The scam started to fall apart in 2011 when a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot went unclaimed for nearly a full year. When someone appeared to claim the prize, it was a lawyer, who said he wished to claim the prize on behalf of a client, who wished to remain anonymous.
Ultimately, the lawyer was unable to convince authorities to release the prize. The attorney eventually said his clients did not want to claim the prize. By then, lottery officials had asked authorities to look into the case.
Authorities found videotapes of the person who purchased the tickets. The photos of the person were released to the public. Eventually, Eddie Tipton’s coworkers identiefied Eddie as the man who purchased the tickets. On that evidence, police arrested Eddie Tipton, which led to his 2015 trial.
At the time, he told KCCI News his emotion at his arrest, “Shock. That’s it.”
Tommy Tipton’s Role in Rigging Lotteries
Tommy Tipton’s arrest is the culmination of years of scrutiny by authorities. Until 2015, Tommy Tipton was a Justice of the Peace in Texas. Even then, authorities thought he was involved in the lottery rigging case.
That’s because Tommy Tipton was one of three people who shared in a $4.5 million lottery jackpot in Colorado. A friend of Tommy Tipton’s eventually admitted to being paid 10% of Tommy’s prize in order to claim the lottery winnings on his behalf.
Tommy Tipton Resigned in Texas
Suspecting a crime and proving it is two different things, though. As the criminal case against Eddie Tipton proceeded, authorities had no solid evidence against Tommy Tipton. Things began to break in 2015 and, eventually, Tommy Tipton resigned his position as a Texas JP.
Now, he faces criminal conduct charges. The case was grist for the morning news shows. One commentator pointed out that a lottery scam is less likely to work when you go back to the well “5 or 6 times“.
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