hot lotto

Hot Lotto Scandal

            In 2017, a new multi-state lottery game was born called Lotto America. But Lotto America has an ugly older sibling with a bad reputation, and their name is Hot Lotto. Hot Lotto held its first lottery drawing on February 13, 1988. Everything ran great for decades and there where tons of happy winners. Then between 2005 and 2011, the lottery company started having an issue with fraudulent claims, and things started going south. Here we give you the scoop on the scandal and the shocking details of the former Hot Lotto game, now reformed and renamed as Lotto America.

            The Hot Lotto scandal is in reference to the discovery of the random number generator being rigged by someone on the inside. The companies’ former information security director, Eddie Tipton, rigged the random number generator in multiple state lotteries including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

Tipton got caught in 2010 when a 14.3 million dollar prize for Hot Lotto went unclaimed. An off-shore trust company in Belize tried to claim the prize nearly one year after the drawing but was rejected by the Iowa lottery because the claim was made anonymously. An investigation was held in regards to the anonymous trust that tried to claim the winnings. The investigation led to the discovery of surveillance footage of Eddie Tipton purchasing the “lucky” winning ticket at a convenience store. It is widely known that if you are employed in any capacity by the lottery company, you are not permitted to participate in the drawing, let alone claim winnings. If you have the winning lottery ticket, you have anywhere from 90 day to one year to claim the prize, depending on where you purchased the ticket. It seems as though Tipton tried to wait as long as possible to claim the prize money to perhaps minimize the attention and stay under the radar. But when millions of dollars are won, it’s going to catch some people attention when it is finally claimed.


Eddie Tipton and his brother Tommy were traced back to rigging a number of lottery drawings dating back to 2005. Eddie’s brother Tommy Tipton was a former Texas justice of the peace officer. Also found involved in the incident was Texas businessman Robert Rhodes. Eddie was found to have programmed Hot Lotto’s random number generator to produce numbers of his choosing if drawn on certain days of the year. He did so by installing a rootkit. A rootkit is a form of malware which basically grants access to unauthorized personnel without the system identifying the foreign user. Although Eddie Tipton got caught in 2010, his trial began in 2015 and he was found guilty on two counts of fraud and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Iowa Supreme Court later overturned that conviction because the investigators took too long to charge and prosecute. 

Hot Lotto drew its final game in October of 2017 and was then replaced by Lotto America in November of 2017. Lotto America still holds regular drawings today and is surly reformed with new security measures.  



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