Statewide and National Groups Call on Governor Evers To Investigate Potential Wisconsin State Lottery Fraud
Citizens Against Expanded Gambling, Wisconsin Family Action, and Stop Predatory Gambling are calling on Governor Evers to investigate the Wisconsin Lottery for potential fraud.
An investigative report released by the Des Moines Register late last week revealed that identical winning numbers were cropping up in hundreds of U.S. lotteries (sometimes in consecutive drawings), including several duplicates here in Wisconsin.
Moreover, Eddie Tipton, the former security director and software programmer for the multi-state lottery Megabucks, in which Wisconsin participates, says he alerted lottery officials in 2001 about a “glitch” in the software. In 2017, Tipton subsequently plead guilty to rigging the jackpot drawings in his favor as far back as 2005 and is now serving 25 years in prison for lottery fraud.
Patricia Mayers, Wisconsin Lottery spokesperson, acknowledged that “‘such repeats are rare and uncommon,’” yet in the same sentence she declares there’s no reason to suspect fraud in The Badger State.
“Wisconsinites spent $2.336 billion in lottery tickets over a 4-year period (2012 through 2016), representing nearly $1 billion in lost wealth for a shot at changing their lives,” said Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling. “I think Wisconsin citizens have earned more than a dismissive measure of reassurance from the lottery spokeswoman.”
Random number-generated lottery fraud is serious enough that several states have ended games due to problems. Math experts who have studied the lottery indicate that the best method to determine whether there is fraud is to conduct an in-depth inspection of the lottery software.
Wisconsin lottery data shows the highest per capita tickets sales occur in our state’s poorest zip codes. “It’s bad enough that the state preys on our poorest for lottery ticket sales, but to ignore the possibility that they are being cheated is reprehensible,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.
There is insufficient oversight on both the state and federal levels for the lotteries. That unusually frequent occurrence of duplicity in drawings has been occurring for more than a decade in many states didn’t trigger concern among state lottery officials, even after they were alerted. This clearly shows that they have a track record of ignoring serious problems.
“What separates commercialized gambling like the Wisconsin Lottery from every other business is it’s a big con game, a form of financial fraud. This lottery scam is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling.