Jul 18, 2022 - News

Man behind largest lottery scam in U.S. history paroled from Iowa prison

A photo of Eddie Tipton.
Eddie Tipton, right, with his attorney Dean Stowers during his sentencing hearing in 2017. Photo: AP/Charlie Neibergall

Eddie Tipton β€” the mastermind behind the biggest lottery scam in U.S. history β€” was released Friday from the Clarinda Correctional Facility, Nick Crawford, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections, tells Axios.

State of play: Tipton hijacked multiple state lotteries in his former job as head of IT security at the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) in Urbandale.

  • The case exposed how a widely used random-drawing computer software system could be manipulated.

Catch up fast: In 2005, Tipton created a cryptic computer code that allowed him to greatly narrow the odds of selecting winning numbers in lotteries across at least five states, including Iowa, court records show.

  • The scheme began to unravel in December 2010 when he was captured on video purchasing the winning ticket for a $16.5 million jackpot at a Des Moines convenience store. He tried to claim the reward anonymously but was caught.
  • He was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison in 2017.

The intrigue: The Iowa Board of Parole approved Tipton's release in January because of good behavior.

  • But that was revoked before his official release after he incurred an undisclosed disciplinary issue.
  • Another review last month resulted in Tipton's parole to Texas via an offender supervision program.
A photo of Eddie Tipton
Screen grab: Vinelink.com
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more