DENVER (CBS4)– Lottery officials in Iowa say jackpots won in Colorado and Wisconsin are now part of a national lottery fraud investigation.
The investigation centers around a former lottery vendor named Eddie Tipton who was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for rigging a computerized Hot Lotto game in an attempt to win a $14 million jackpot in Iowa. Prosecutors say Tipton inserted a stealth program into the computer that randomly picked the winning numbers.
Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Safety said previous lottery winnings were collected by associates of Tipton in Wisconsin and in Colorado in November 2005.
Terry Rich of the Iowa Lottery called on lotteries nationwide to assist in the investigation.
“It is appalling that the person who was at the center of this worked for a lottery vendor,” said Rich.
Authorities said Tipton’s brother, Tommy Tipton, won a lottery prize of more than $568,000 in Colorado in Nov. 23, 2005. The $4.8 million jackpot involved a $568,990 payout that a friend of Tipton’s brother claimed for Tommy.
Iowa lottery officials asked the public to report anyone trying to claim lottery prizes for other people.
The Colorado Lottery released this statement: The Colorado Lottery continues to be committed to ensuring the security and integrity of lottery products. We strive to ensure that Lottery games are fair and offer everyone an equal chance to win.
The Colorado Department of Revenue and the Colorado Lottery are aware of this issue and have been working closely and collaboratively with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Iowa Bureau of Investigation, and the Pueblo District Attorney’s Office to investigate any allegations of wrong doing. This is an open and ongoing investigation and we are unable to provide additional information.