Shadow of scandal over record Powerball drawing

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 18:47:29-05

Wednesday's big Powerball drawing is actually being made under a cloud of scandal.

The man who has run the game since it was created is off the job, after his top security director was charged in a scheme to fix jackpots.

In October, the Executive Director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates Powerball, was suspended indefinitely, while a nationwide investigation into a cheating scandal continues.

One of the states potentially involved is Florida.

Surveillance video from 2010 in an Iowa convenience store started a nationwide investigation into lottery fraud.

Prosecutors in Iowa say it shows Eddie Tipton, former Security Director for the Multi-State Lottery, purchasing a $16.5 million winning ticket.

Last year, Tipton was convicted of rigging the drawing.

But now prosecutors believe Tipton made his own luck more than once.

“We're looking into any jackpots that could be associated with Eddie Tipton across the country,” said David Jobes, Assistant Director of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

Investigators say Tipton installed software on machines that randomly generate winning lotto numbers, so he would know those winning digits in advance.

They say Tipton had access to lottery games in Florida and 36 other states, and that he had people he knew collect big jackpots worth millions in Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

Tipton was sentenced to ten years for the original Iowa case brought a year ago.

He now faces additional charges.

Multi-State Lottery Director Charles Strutt, who oversees multiple games, including Powerball, remains suspended while investigation continues.

Lottery officials point out that the games Tipton is accused of rigging involve random number generators, and not ball draws, like Powerball.

And they say they're doing all they can to make sure nobody ever cheats.

“It's our job to be one step ahead, and in this technology world, it's a tough proposition some days, but I have absolute faith in the group that we have and our nationwide experts,” said Terry Rich, who is President of the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The association says it has examined internal processes and made changes since the scandal first broke.


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