By Howard Nathan
DENVER (CBS4)– A second suspect has been arrested in a lottery scam that includes Colorado and four other states. Tommy Tipton and his brother, Eddie, have been accused of rigging six lottery jackpots to try to win more than $19 million.
Authorities believe when Tommy Tipton bought winning lottery tickets in Colorado in 2005, he used a computer system that investigators in Iowa believe was rigged by his brother, Eddie.
“There was some additional code placed in there so that changed the program and made it operate in a different way if certain parameters were met,” said David Jobes, Assistant Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Those parameters could include certain days,, in a certain week and at a certain time of day.
“If all those conditions were met then the program ran in a different way and the investigators were able to duplicate those results,” said Jobes.
Tipton was convicted in July 2015. He was the head of security for the Multi-State Lottery Association and created the system that generates the winning numbers.
“If it’s rigged I think I should get a refund,” said lottery player Levi Frasier who said he has been playing the lottery for the past 13 years.
The Colorado Lottery issued 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 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 any additional information.”
Howard Nathan is a veteran newsman. Decades later, he still enjoys writing a clever sentence, asking the tough question and talking to people in Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Howard and read his bio.