A former security boss of a lottery is being charged with fraud. Eddie Tipton is accused of hacking the computer that picks the winning numbers. Tipton was security director at the Multi-State Lottery Association before being arrested by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations in January. It’s claimed that he was caught on CCTV purchasing the winning ticket, although the $14.3 prize hasn’t been claimed. He denies the charges.
Court papers suggest that Tipton could have inserted a thumb drive into the computer in order to pre-determine the numbers. Although the glass room housing the computer is constantly monitored by video camera, Tipton is accused of switching it off. The papers say that he changed the settings to make them only record one second per minute. This would have left him with ample time to plug the thumb drive into the system.
The prosecution said the external drive featured a computer program called a rootkit designed to erase itself after performing a particular task, which in this case was to choose the lottery numbers in question. Mr. Tipton wouldn’t have been allowed to win the lottery himself due to his position. However, court filings say an attempt to claim the prize was made. Tipton could face up a five-year sentence and a fine of $7,500.