Trials & Litigation

Suit claims rigged lottery game reduced subsequent winner's jackpot

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An Iowa man has filed a lawsuit claiming that his $6 million lump-sum lottery win in 2011 would have been $10 million larger if the game hadn’t been rigged less than five months before by a wayward employee.

The suit was filed on behalf of “Lucky Larry” Dawson on Wednesday, report the Des Moines Register, the Associated Press and Iowa Public Radio.

The suit says the Hot Lotto jackpot should not have reset to $1 million after a lottery employee allegedly rigged a game in December 2010 and purchased the winning ticket with a $10 million cash value.

The employee, Eddie Tipton, was convicted on two counts of fraud in July in connection with the rigging allegations. He was charged after colleagues identified him as the man shown buying the winning ticket in a surveillance video.

No one received a payout for the December jackpot because lawyers who tried to claim the prize on behalf of a trust refused to identify who bought the ticket. The money was eventually returned to 16 states that participate in Hot Lotto.

Tipton is also accused of rigging jackpots in Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Named as defendants in Dawson’s suit are the Iowa Lottery and the Multi-State Lottery Association, which had employed Tipton as a security director.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich issued a statement saying Dawson received the jackpot to which he was entitled. “It is impossible to rewrite history,” Rich said. “No one can know what would have occurred in this case had any event in it been changed.”

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