TL;DR – No, you can’t hack the lottery, as this poor fellow showed!
In January a resident of Iowa was charged with two felony counts of fraud for illegally playing the lottery and attempting to collect $14.3 million in 2010.
How do you illegally play the lottery, you might ask? Well, the man in question, Eddie Raymond Tipton, happened to be a lottery worker. Therefore he was excluded from playing the lottery by default. He got round this by having a friend collect his prize on his behalf. Not the smartest tactic but the only one we can actually imagine would work.
But there was a further twist in the tale, when prosecutors decided that not only had Tipton tried to defraud the Iowa lottery but that he had also manipulated the system to ensure he would win. To do that he had to bypass the Random Number Generator that picks the numbers. Lotteries, online bingo and slot machines are just some examples of games that use Random Number Generators that make it impossible for users to predict results.
Tipton is accused of using self-destructive hack that made sure his ticket would be the winning one, and tampering with the CCTV cameras to conceal his identity. But that wasn’t enough, because he couldn’t actually collect the winnings without getting busted. So he enlisted the help of a New York lawyer.
This lawyer tried unsuccessfully to claim the prize shortly before the one-year deadline for collecting the winners in 2011. Although Crawford Shaw had a valid ticket, he couldn’t confirm who had actually purchased the original ticket and lottery officials refused to grant a payout.
To catch Tipton, it actually took a considerable police investigation. It started by releasing footage from the convenience store of as mystery man making the original lottery ticket purchase in October 2011. Tipton was identified by an ex-colleague and subsequently linked to the ticket by analysis of the purchaser’s voice on the CCTV video and scanning the license plate of a car in the parking lot of the convenience store at the time.
So, to answer our original question, technically it would be possible to hack the lottery, assuming you worked for a national state lottery and had access to the machine/computer program that decided the numbers. But actually getting to the point where you could claim the prize money and get away with the plan – now that’s pretty much impossible, as Tipton found out.
The lesson: crime doesn’t pay, especially not $14 million. You can’t hack the lottery so you’re best chance of winning is still to buy a ticket in the normal manner. That’s where Lottosend comes in – get your next lottery ticket today!