Authorities Looking Into Just How Many State Jackpots May Have Been Fixed By Former Lottery Worker

Remember the ex-lottery worker from Iowa who was convicted of rigging a state jackpot so he’d win $14 million? Authorities aren’t quite sure his insider scheme was limited to his home state, and have expanded the investigation into other parts of the U.S.

The former security director of the Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association was convicted in July after prosecutors said he installed a secret software program in the system’s computers that would pick winning numbers. He then enlisted a friend in Texas to buy a ticket with those numbers to skirt state law, which says lottery employees can’t play the lottery.

Authorities accused him of tampering with drawings in four states over six years, the Associated Press, and investigators are now expanding the inquiry nationwide to see if he could’ve cast an even larger net.

Thus far, state lotteries in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma have confirmed they paid jackpots worth $8 million to the man’s associates, including his old college roommate. To make sure they haven’t missed something, investigators are going over payouts in the 37 other states and U.S. territories that used random-number generators from the MSLA.

“It would be pretty naive to believe they are the only four” jackpots involved, said now-retired Iowa deputy attorney general Thomas H. Miller, who oversaw the investigation for 2 ½ years. “If you find one cockroach, you have to assume there are 100 more you haven’t found.”

Jackpot-fixing investigation expands to more state lotteries [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.