Mastermind of lottery fraud admits he rigged jackpots

Eddie Tipton, the cyber security expert and brainpower behind a lottery rigging scandal that netted $2 million in illegal winnings from five state lotteries pleaded guilty Thursday, June 29, 2017, to a felony charge of ongoing criminal conduct charge at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A former lottery computer programmer has pleaded guilty in Iowa to running a criminal scheme that allowed him to collect millions of dollars in lottery winnings in four other states.

Former Multi-State Lottery Association security director Eddie Tipton on Thursday admitted that he manipulated the computer software he designed, allowing him to provide winning numbers to his brother and others.

Tipton, his brother Tommy Tipton and Texas businessman Robert Rhodes will repay $2.2 million in prizes they improperly claimed in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Kansas.

In his job at the Urbandale, Iowa-based association, Tipton wrote and installed code for software that picked random numbers for games sold by its member lotteries. Investigators say Tipton designed his code so that on three days of the year, he could predict winning numbers in some games. The Tiptons and friend Robert Rhodes bought winning numbers for drawings in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma between 2005 and 2011. Other associates were involved but haven't faced charges.

Iowa prosecutors will ask for a 25-year prison sentence for Eddie Tipton.

Tommy Tipton also pleaded guilty Thursday in Iowa and was sentenced to 75 days in jail.

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