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Lottery losers could get paid after lottery scam lawsuit settles for $4.3 million

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Lottery losers could get paid after lottery scam lawsuit settles for $4.3 million
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A class-action lawsuit to benefit potentially millions of owners of losing tickets linked to the largest lottery scam in U.S. history has been settled for $4.3 million, according to a statement sent by an attorney in the case.

The settlement will refund the cost of tickets purchased in nine specific drawings dates for games sold in 33 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., between Nov. 23, 2005 and May 23, 2013. A settlement website will be set up to assist people who seek refunds.

Proof of purchase — primarily, copies of losing tickets — is not required to submit a claim for up to 10 non-winning tickets but settlement administrators have the right to request verification to prevent fraud. The cash refund will vary based on value of the ticket, whether someone has proof of purchase and the number of valid claims submitted, the Register was told by attorneys in the case. Online court documents were not filed as of Monday at noon.

The settlement is a coda to the decade-long saga springing from a computer-assisted scam Eddie Tipton, the former IT director for the Multi-State Lottery Association in Urbandale, ran with the national lottery. Tipton added a secret code to "random" number-generating computer software in 2005 that allowed him to narrow drawing winning odds in multiple games from as great as 5 million to 1 down to 200 to 1.

Tipton's scam went undetected for years and the code was replicated in lottery computer software across the nation. He hijacked at least five winning drawings totaling more than $24 million in prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma, court records show.

In 2017, he was sentenced in 2017 to up to 25 years in prison.

The lottery association — commonly referenced as MUSL — is an umbrella organization that is owned and operated by 36-member lotteries, including the Iowa Lottery. Its executives previously have said they no longer use computer programs Tipton designed.

Iowa man who spent $63 on tickets filed lawsuit

Burlington resident Dale Culler is among at least three people who have filed lawsuits naming MUSL in connection with the rigged games. Polk County District Court Judge Michael Huppert in January granted Culler's effort to seek damages on behalf of potentially hundreds of thousands of players.

MUSL has denied and continues to deny any gaming wrongdoing, according to the settlement statement sent to the Register by Blake Hanson, an attorney for Culler. The association chose to settle based on expected litigation expenses and uncertain risks should the lawsuit go to trial, according to information shared with the Register.

Court documents show Culler spent $63 to purchase tickets in two games he believes were affected by Tipton's scam. MUSL has agreed not to oppose paying 30 percent of the settlement — $1.29 million — for Culler's legal fees as well as a $20,000 "incentive award" for spearheading the lawsuit. Those payments will be deducted from the $4.3 million available for refunds.

The class-action lawsuit was initially linked to at least 7.2 million lottery tickets but some of the games were removed from the list because they did not use Tipton's software. The settlement agreements do not indicate how many losing tickets remain eligible for refunds.

The statement issued by Hanson on Monday offered no further comment other than: "MUSL remains committed to the integrity and fairness of the multi-jurisdictional and state lottery games that its members offer."

Both parties declined further comment.

Timeline of the biggest crime in US lottery history

The following is a compilation of Lottery Post news coverage chronicling the Hot Lotto mystery and subsequently discovered crime.

We start the timeline with a news story indicating that only 3 months remained for the $16 million Hot Lotto jackpot to be claimed.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Des Moines Register

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12 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by ckrakowski.
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Navy Veteran USN
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157851
August 2, 2014
3552 Posts
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Posted: July 22, 2019, 6:58 pm - IP Logged

I am curious as to what Todd Northrop thinks about this settlement. 

 Tipton is in prison. The States have not been reimbursed by the other friend and brother of Tipton. 

 This story is definitely one for the history books when discussing the Lottery.

No No

 John Tyler was our tenth President from 1841 - 1845.US Flag

    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
    Texas
    United States
    Member #55887
    October 23, 2007
    9124 Posts
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    Posted: July 22, 2019, 10:58 pm - IP Logged

    I just find it amazing that after all this, there are states that STILL insist on using RNG's to pick numbers, and insist that their RNG's are tamper-proof.

    Ya can't fix stupid.

    CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

    A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

      Avatar
      Kentucky
      United States
      Member #32651
      February 14, 2006
      8617 Posts
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      Posted: July 22, 2019, 11:03 pm - IP Logged

      The settlement will refund the cost of tickets purchased in nine specific drawings dates for games sold in 33 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., between Nov. 23, 2005 and May 23, 2013. A settlement website will be set up to assist people who seek refunds.

      Is it just me or is anyone else wondering how exactly players can prove they bought tickets for games from 14 years ago. Oh and is this good news for Lucky Larry?

        Avatar
        Florida
        United States
        Member #186825
        January 2, 2018
        173 Posts
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        Posted: July 22, 2019, 11:30 pm - IP Logged

        The settlement will refund the cost of tickets purchased in nine specific drawings dates for games sold in 33 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., between Nov. 23, 2005 and May 23, 2013. A settlement website will be set up to assist people who seek refunds.

        Is it just me or is anyone else wondering how exactly players can prove they bought tickets for games from 14 years ago. Oh and is this good news for Lucky Larry?

        Perhaps if you can show an atm withdrawal on a bank statement could be a form of proof. These refunds are going to be menisicule, like less than $50.00. Participants are only receiving the cost of a ticket back. Tickets are a buck a piece. I don't think they will be policing the refunds too tightly except for excessive refunds.

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Chasing the Dream.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136473
          December 12, 2012
          5840 Posts
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          Posted: July 23, 2019, 12:20 am - IP Logged

          The settlement will refund the cost of tickets purchased in nine specific drawings dates for games sold in 33 states, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., between Nov. 23, 2005 and May 23, 2013. A settlement website will be set up to assist people who seek refunds.

          Is it just me or is anyone else wondering how exactly players can prove they bought tickets for games from 14 years ago. Oh and is this good news for Lucky Larry?

          I don't think this gives Lucky Larry a leg up. He probably wanted nothing to do with a class action LS, since he feels he got paid less than what he should have gotten the first time around. No, Larry wants the rest of the pie, not a piece. My gut feeling is that Larry painted himself into a corner with his particular LS. Sometimes it pays to leave the dinner table while you full instead of hanging around for dessert. Cool

           * Voice of Reason *   

           

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            LottoLucy's avatar - hereslucy header.jpg

            United States
            Member #131590
            August 14, 2012
            316 Posts
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            Posted: July 23, 2019, 11:19 am - IP Logged

            It will be interesting to see what the burden of proof is to make a claim.  I was a regular hot lotto player in both DC and Delaware since the game began.  I started taking pictures of each lottery ticket I bought when I got my first iphone (easier to check my numbers at draw time).  I did a quick look just on google photos and I have images of tickets starting in 2012.  I could at least establish I was a regular player who most likely had tickets on all of those dates.

            Until I moved last year I probably could have produced physical tickets since I save my tickets in case I have a big win and want to deduct losses.  I wasn’t good about cleaning out my files every year and getting rid of proof I didn’t need. I found tickets going back to 2006.😳 Those are all recycled now.

            Lotto Lucy

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              Simpsonville
              United States
              Member #163184
              January 22, 2015
              1966 Posts
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              Posted: July 23, 2019, 11:36 am - IP Logged

              There were two class action lawsuits from products sold by Costco through no fault of their own.

              First one was for Coconut oil that is still sold there.   I think the check was for like $4-6; second one for LED light bulbs.   That check was for $26.00.   They got my information due to the credit card I used.   Like I said I don't fault the only place I shop, Costco and applaud them for possibly providing the c.c. information on their card to the Attorneys.

              Will be waiting to see what pittance these folks get.   Do the Attorney's shave off a 1/3 of the $4.3 million.

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                100
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30469
                January 17, 2006
                11404 Posts
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                Posted: July 23, 2019, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                From the OP, this;

                Proof of purchase — primarily, copies of losing tickets — is not required to submit a claim for up to 10 non-winning tickets but settlement administrators have the right to request verification to prevent fraud. The cash refund will vary based on value of the ticket, whether someone has proof of purchase and the number of valid claims submitted, the Register was told by attorneys in the case. Online court documents were not filed as of Monday at noon.

                is going to invite a lot of claim jumpers or attempted claim jumpers.

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  Avatar
                  Maryland
                  United States
                  Member #155449
                  May 19, 2014
                  28 Posts
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                  Posted: July 23, 2019, 1:43 pm - IP Logged

                  I was buying tickets regularly about that time, but there is no way I am going to attempt to get my money back for any tickets, since I do not have any way to prove it, and it's not worth the effort relative to how much I might ever receive. I stopped immediately after this hit the news. When PB went to $2/ticket I stopped buying them. Mega Millions followed suit later, and now I rarely buy any lottery tickets. My dreams are done.

                    cbr$'s avatar - maren
                    100
                    Cordova,Al.
                    United States
                    Member #104478
                    January 15, 2011
                    10031 Posts
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                    Posted: July 23, 2019, 1:44 pm - IP Logged

                    Finally a legal decision in favor of the lottery players.  Hurray! Been waiting a long time to hear this. The players are going to be paid for the rigged games.   Justice for the players !!!

                      Artist77's avatar - batman14

                      United States
                      Member #121741
                      January 16, 2012
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                      Posted: July 24, 2019, 6:39 pm - IP Logged

                      The attorneys will all receive at least one third of the settlement money and if the court allows expenses separately, it can go much higher.

                      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

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                        casper wyoming
                        United States
                        Member #136341
                        December 9, 2012
                        97 Posts
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                        Posted: July 25, 2019, 5:55 pm - IP Logged

                        Colorado Winner Denied Defrauded Share Of Jackpot

                        This is the hidden side of what rigging the lottery does.

                        Amir Massihzadeh from Boulder, Colorado had a nice win way back in 2005. He was happy, he got $568,990. Until in September 2017 when he discovered that both of the other 2 winning tickets were down to the Tipton brothers.

                        So Amir should have got the full jackpot, right? Well, maybe, and that’s what he and his lawyers thought.

                        But the Colorado Court of Appeals has just said ‘no’. They say the lottery company paid a prize and that’s the end of their legal obligation. Totally unfair, or just be happy with what you got?

                         

                        This is BULL<snip>. Here is another reason I will not play the colorado lottery. The courts <snip>ed up. He is legally entitled to the money.

                         

                        This patectic excuse of a settlement proves it. 

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