4 Scandals that Turned Lotteries Upside Down

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 23,2019 | Time: 12:43 pm | Edited by: The Lottery Lab Staff


The lottery industry is constantly evolving and much of this evolution is in response to scandals. Some lottery scandals were so big that that turned the lottery industry upside down. Let’s learn about the lottery scandals and their significant impact.

1. The Kidnapping Case


This case goes way back to 1960 when an 8-year -old Australian boy was kidnapped for ransom. It was the first-ever lottery associated kidnapping case. Graeme Thorne, 8, was the son of Bazil Thorne, winner of a lottery jackpot worth £100,000. The Thorne family gained instant fame and was on the news everywhere. Not long after, their son was kidnapped. People from all over the state volunteered to search for the boy. After a week they recovered a dead body. It was a heartbreaking conclusion. Although this is not a scandal about lottery results it did have a significant effect on lotteries everywhere. After the kidnapping case, the Australian government made amendments to their laws to include harsher punishments for kidnapping and allowed lottery winners to claim their winnings anonymous for the sake of their privacy and safety.

2. Triple Six Fix


In 1980, the announcer of the Pennsylvania Lottery rigged the lottery balls to win the cash prize. This scandal is widely known as the “Triple Six Fix”. Nick Perry, the mastermind of the scandal planned to rig the balls. He swapped the legit balls with the fake ones which had extra paint to make the balls heavier and more likely to be drawn. On April 24, 1980, the infamous combination- 6-6-6 was drawn. Lottery officials grew suspicious and carried out an investigation and ultimately caught the mastermind. The scandal was so famous that a movie was filmed based on this incident. After this, the majority of lotteries started using the Gravity pick lottery machines rather than the Air mix lottery drawing machines. Lottery officials took some increased steps toward securing their lottery drawing machines and maintaining their reputation as well. They installed new lottery drawing machines, added more security personnel, and installed CCTV cameras to keep the machines under surveillance.


3. Stefan Mandel


Stefan Mandel is a famous Romanian economist and the first person to come up with a strategy that ensured a guaranteed lottery jackpot win. We always say lotteries are random and it is impossible to guarantee a win in the lottery draw. Well, this wasn’t always true, and Mandel’s techniques may be the reason that lottery rules are so rigid today. Basically, Stefan formed a group of investors and waited until the jackpot was as high as $21 million. Then he printed all possible combination (typically three times less than the jackpot) using a computer printer and waited for the drawing. It was a guaranteed win for him, but it took a 4-year investigation to prove that he did nothing illegal. In the end, there was no wrong-doing, but the investigation made the lottery officials aware of possible vulnerabilities in the lottery system. Therefore, they introduced some rigid rules to prevent similar things from happening in the future. They increased the odds, increased the number of possible combinations, and prohibited mechanically printed tickets. In conclusion, this method won’t work anymore!

4. The Insider Fraud


This is the most recent and biggest insider fraud case in the lottery. The mastermind behind this scandal, Eddie Tipton, was the computer programmer and information security person for MUSL (Multi-State Lottery Association). He took advantage of his position and inserted a virus in the lottery system of Hot Lotto and several other lottery systems as well. It took a long series of investigation to catch the mastermind but it finally happened. For now, Eddie Tipton, along with his brother Tom Tipton is serving their jail time. The incident had a negative impact on the lottery.  They were forced to end Hot Lotto on October 28, 2017, because the public no longer trusted it and introduced a new lottery game named Lotto America.

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