Three groups call for lottery fraud probe

Posted at 2 p.m. on February 4, 2019

The Brillion News

APPLETON – Citizens Against Expanded Gambling, Wisconsin Family Council, and Stop Predatory Gambling are calling on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to investigate the Wisconsin Lottery for potential fraud.

The call came after an Iowa newspaper published a story that identical winning numbers were cropping up in hundreds of lotteries around the U.S., including duplicate numbers in Wisconsin.

The three anti-gaming groups cited the case of a former security director and programmer for the Megabucks multi-state lottery who pled guilty in 2017 to rigging jackpot drawings. The man, Eddie Tipson, is currently serving a 25-year prison term. He rigged the lottery drawings to favor tickets he purchased.

The three groups – two of which are based in Wisconsin – said the winning numbers are generated by vulnerable software – and the software needs to be analyzed and investigated for programmed fraud.

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, said state lottery games are “a big con game, a form of financial fraud.”

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Lottery said a $1 million Powerball winning ticket was sold on Superior, Wis.  And on Friday, an Eau Claire man claimed a $200,000 prize in the Pot of Gold Crossword game.

Lorri Pickens, executive director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling, based in Appleton, said Wisconsinites bought $2.336 billion in lottery tickets from 2012 to 2016.

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