The allegations read like a movie plot: a lottery industry insider installs an undetectable software program in the computers that pick winning numbers so he can know them in advance.
He enlists accomplices to play those numbers and collect the jackpots. And they enrich themselves for years until a misstep unravels their high-tech scheme.
Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, has been accused of tampering with drawings in four states over a six-year period, and investigators are now expanding the inquiry nationwide to determine if the number could be larger.
State lotteries in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma have confirmed they paid jackpots worth $8 million to Tipton associates, including his old college roommate, Robert Rhodes. Investigators are looking at payouts in the other 37 states and U.S. territories that used random-number generators from the Iowa-based association, which administers games and distributes prizes for the lottery consortium.