(See part two below)
A former employee with the Multi-State Lottery Association who was found guilty of tampering with lottery equipment is now facing additional charges.
Back in December of 2010, investigators said Edward Tipton bought a winning $16.5 million lottery ticket and tried to have someone else cash it for him. It took four years for investigators to verify that Tipton did indeed make the purchase.
At that time, Tipton was charged with two counts of fraud, according to a previous report.
As the investigation developed, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office filed more charges against Tipton. On Friday, October 9, 2015, Tipton turned himself in and was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
In September of 2015 Tipton was found guilty of tampering with lottery equipment, the statement said. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison. Meanwhile, investigators found out that Tipton was involved in a jackpot collection in Colorado and people associated with him collected another jackpot in Wisconsin.
Investigators found out that “within the last several years, acquaintances and a family member” of Tipton’s have been winning lotteries through “manual play” tickets where they choose the numbers themselves. Winning numbers for these types of tickets are generated by random number generators, which were built by Multi-State Lottery staff, where Tipton was an employee.
The Colorado jackpot was won in November of 2005 and was collected by Tipton’s brother, Tommy Tipton “at Tommy’s request,” according to Iowa Department of Public Safety. The Wisconsin jackpot was won in December of 2007 and was collected by Delta S. Holdings LLC, owned by Tipton’s best friend Robert Rhodes.
“This is now a nationwide investigation that seeks to identify instances where individuals may have taken advantage of personal relationships to perpetrate fraud against a lottery game,” said the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s statement.
If you know of anyone claiming a lottery prize on behalf of another person, you can alert the Iowa Department of Public Safety here.