How lottery insider allegedly fixed jackpots

December 18, 2015

Eddie Tipton, a computer expert and the Multi-State Lottery Association's security director, allegedly rigged a lottery jackpot by installing a software program known as a rootkit on a computer that would pick the winning number for a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot.

The software would allow Tipton to know the winning numbers in advance. At his trial in Des Moines last summer, prosecutors presented showing Tipton entering a secure computer room at the lottery association office in Urbandale, Iowa, in 2010.

They alleged he tampered with the camera monitoring system so it would record only one second per minute and not show what he did next: sticking a USB drive into the computer. He allegedly went to a nearby service station days later to buy the winning ticket.

No trace of the rootkit was found, and Tipton's defense attorney maintained there was no proof of his guilt. But colleagues testified that Tipton was obsessed with rootkit software.

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