Eddie Tipton Guilty In Iowa Lottery Fraud Case, Pulled Off 'Biggest Lottery Scam' Ever

Regina Avalos

Eddie Tipton had his day in court on Monday, and he now faces a possible 10 years in prison for pulling off the biggest lottery scam ever. According to USA Today, the Iowa man managed to rig the lottery system in that state in order to produce a winning ticket for himself. If he had been successful in his scheme, the man would have claimed a ticket for $16.5 million. That means he would have taken home approximately $14 million.

Eddie Tipton did have some help in the scheme. He used a rootkit to hack the lottery's computer system and place numbers for a day in the future. After the hack was complete, the entire system was wiped clean of any evidence of Tipton's actions.

He then bought a ticket for the day he had programmed into the system with the winning numbers at a Quik Trip in Iowa. According to the Daily Beast, "the stocky 47-year-old approached a silver-haired clerk at the counter of an Iowa-based Quik Trip market at around 3:30 p.m., stacking on the counter $3.17 worth of hot dogs, a fountain soda and two tickets."

WHO-TV reported that circumstantial evidence is all the prosecution had on this case, but it was still enough to convict the man of fraud. A jury found the man guilty of two counts of fraud, and that verdict was handed down on Monday in an Iowa courtroom.

According to the WHO-TV report, surveillance footage captured the man buying the winning lottery ticket in December 2010. By law, he is not allowed to play the lottery in his state because he works with the lottery organization. At that time, he was the "information security director for the multi-state lottery association."

— WHO-HD Ch. 13 News (@WHOhd) July 20, 2015

— The Courier-Mail (@couriermail) April 16, 2015

According to a previous Inquistr report, Eddie Tipton's attorney, Dean Stowers, does plan to fight the conviction against his client. He spoke with the media after the verdict was announced on Monday.

"I think when you have a case where a jury is allowed to speculate as much as this jury was, you're pretty likely to have this as one of your unfortunate outcomes, and that's what happened. That's not to be critical of the jury in any way, but that's what occurs when speculation is allowed in the courtroom and we repeatedly objected to the jury being allowed to speculate and engage in conjecture and unfortunately that's what we've wound up with, is with a verdict."
"I'm having to defend myself against hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of investigative time. They're running against time because the statute of limitations was almost up and they gotta find somebody. So they throw it all on me. I was more of a consultant and helped them with following the rules and showed them how to comply with them. I was not hurting for money. Not hurting enough that I need to take a chance and ruin my whole life. No way. The only reason I'm in trouble is because I'm an employee. If I knew who the mystery person was that bought the ticket I would serve them up on a platter just to clear my name."

Is the lottery system safe? This case shows that is possible to rig the system in someone's favor. However, officials are claiming that the lottery system is completely safe. Terry Rich, the Iowa Lottery CEO, released a statement about the incident.

"Our lottery has strong layers of security to protect lottery players, lottery games and lottery prizes. This case has provided our lottery with an opportunity to better pinpoint potential security risks and update our procedures to protect against them."

In the case of Eddie Tipton, he is facing up to 10 years in prison, but it is possible he will only receive probation. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 9. What do you think of this lottery scam? What would you do with $14 million if you won the lottery?

[Photo: KCRG Twitter]