Everyone gets frustrated when they don't win the lottery, and if you're a resident of Iowa, it turns out you have another reason to be ticked off about the results. A former employee for the Multi State Lottery Association in Iowa has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in a lottery fraud scandal that earned him millions of dollars.
Eddie Tipton, a 54-year-old computer programmer who was tasked as the "security chief" for the company until his arrest in 2015, after conspiring with his brother, Tommy Tipton, to rig lottery numbers in their favor. All told, the brothers reportedly won over $2 million during their time behind the scheme, and they'll have to pay more than $3 million as restitution as part of their plea deal with the state, according to USA Today.
From the sound of things, Tipton and his brother did not do the best job of being covert about all the money they were winning. After the first illegal win in 2005, he built a 4,800 square foot home, complete with a gym, movie theater, and 22 acres of surrounding land. They only got more audacious over time, though they were not always able to collect on their scamming.
The straw that broke the camel's back reportedly came in 2010, when Tipton made several attempts to anonymously claim a $16.5 million winning ticket, purchased at a convenience store in Des Moines. And the scheme did not stop in Iowa, with Tipton admitting to fixing different games in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Oklahoma, with the assistance of his brother and their partner-in-crime, "Texas businessman" Robert Rhodes.
The judge presiding over the case was not kind to Tipton while assessing the case.
“It is indeed unfortunate that you did not use that intelligence to prosper by legal means," said District Court Judge Brad McCall. "Instead you chose an illegal path."
Tipton will be eligible for parole within three to four years, according to his attorneys.