In handing down his sentence, Judge Jeffrey Farrell stated that a lengthy spell in prison would act as a considerable deterrent to others. He said: “This is about as large an invasion of trust as I can possibly imagine. That is something the court considers to be significant in regard to the gravity of this offence.”
Tipton, who did not testify at his trial and opted not to make a statement at the sentencing hearing, was asked for his reaction by KCCI as he left court. He said: “Shock. That’s it.” Defence attorney Dean Stowers has already filed an appeal and Tipton will remain free on bond until the court decides whether to grant the appeal.
Stowers is confident the sentence will be overturned and Tipton will avoid prison, as he did not get any money and has held down a job in Texas. Stowers added: “He's a good person. He's honest and he's as far as we know it, completely innocent of the charges that were filed against him and prosecuted against him in this case.”
The Tipton saga has been running since the Hot Lotto draw on 29th December 2010, when a winning ticket worth $14.3 million went unclaimed until it was about to expire almost a year later. New York lawyer Crawford Shaw came forward on behalf of a Belize-based investment company, before later withdrawing the claim after refusing to name who the ticket belonged to.
Surveillance footage of a man buying the winning ticket from a shop in Des Moines was studied and detectives claimed the voice matched Tipton, while the licence number of a car in the parking lot was also linked to Tipton. As the security director at the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), Tipton was not allowed to buy Hot Lotto tickets or claim any prizes.
The case took an incredible twist on the eve of the scheduled trial in April when prosecutors argued that Tipton had installed a rootkit on the lottery operator’s system to fix the numbers, whilst also tampering with the camera so that he would not be seen on CCTV footage. The trial was pushed back and Tipton convicted, and he is now waiting to see if his appeal will be granted after being given the maximum prison sentence.