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Plea Deal Reached In Lottery Rigging Case

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – A Texas man has pleaded guilty in a Wisconsin court to a multi-state lottery rigging fraud that included Colorado. Eddie Tipton has now been convicted in two states.

There was a good reason why Tipton knew how to rig lotteries. He was the security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Eddie Tipton (credit: CBS)

Eddie Tipton (credit: CBS)

Tipton would fix the winning numbers by computer. He programmed a random number generator. In one case, he bought the ticket himself wearing a hood in a $16 million Iowa game.

In 2005, his brother Tommy had tickets bought for the Colorado Lottery from stores in Commerce City and Lamar. It paid more than half a million dollars.

Lottery players were not amused when news of the case emerged.

“If it’s rigged, I think I should get a refund,” one man told CBS4.

One lottery player filed a lawsuit to get his lottery losses back.

Nick Mauro is the attorney seeking a class action. In January, he said, “If you paid money to play that game you deserve your money back.”

Legal analyst Karen Steinhauser told CBS4 previously it could be tough for the buyers to prove.

“They bought a ticket and that particular ticket would have been the winning ticket but for the rigging that went on,” she said.

Some lottery players around the country have indicated their confidence has been shaken. One said, “Every time you have something rigged like that, bang, it’s over.”

Tipton faces up to 13 1/2 years in jail in this case. He is to pay Colorado more than $1 million in restitution. His brother Tommy is to pay the state over $500,000.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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