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A new book chronicles the story of a rigged Lottery scam

Former Iowa Lottery director Terry Rich, and Perry Beeman, a journalist, have released a new tell-all book about a rigged lottery scam that targeted Powerball.

It chronicles the story of Eddie Tipton who was on course to defraud the gaming commission of millions of dollars.

powerball ticket
Powerball is the biggest lottery in the US and almost fell foul of a plan to rig it

Attempting to rig the lottery

The ‘$80 Billion Gamble’ tells the story of two brothers, some computer software, and how they aimed to predict the random draws. It is a strange tale of hotdogs, Bigfoot, and Tipton’s poor dress sense.

Tipton was a former security chief at the Multi-State Lottery Association. He used his position to try and rig the lottery games.

In 2005, he used his own software code to predict the winning lottery numbers. These draws should have been random. His code influenced the Association which operated 36 member lotteries.

Transcripts of Tipton’s confession revealed he had used the software in as many as 17 states before he was caught.

Fortunately, Powerball was not affected. Powerball, which runs across 44 states, turned down his software.

Caught red-handed

Tipton’s ultimate downfall came in 2011 with a huge $16.5 million jackpot win in Iowa. There, winners must legally identify themselves to the public. It showed that Tipton himself had bought the winning ticket in 2010 at a store in Des Moines.

In 2017, Tipton and his brother Tommy entered a guilty plea in relation to the rigging scam. It is unclear what role Tommy played.

Eddie was sentenced to 25 years in prison and agreed to pay back $2.3 million to the affected lotteries. Tommy was sentenced to 75 days in jail.

Read more: The Florida lottery winner who ended up in jail for smuggling drugs

The sentence for Eddie might seem harsh. But it is a reflection of just how much money the brothers stood to make if they had pulled it off.

Despite the brothers owning almost $2 million worth of property in Texas, they have only repaid $1,300 so far.

Terry Rich retired in December 2018 as Iowa Lottery director. He said “One of the reasons that we put this book together was to document what happened because somebody is always trying to beat the system.”

It turns out this time, crime doesn’t pay.