Lottery fraud is any act specialized in defraud a lottery game. A perpetrator attempts to win a jackpot prize through fraudulent means. The target is to defraud the organisation operating the lottery of money, or regarding a stolen lottery ticket, to defraud a person of their legitimately won prize.
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Several common techniques are used, including having a forged or altered lottery ticket to claim a prize, or presenting a geniune, stolen ticket to claim a prize through misrepresentation. Additionally, there are cases of insider fraud, where employees or agents confusing in lottery have exploited their position to fraudulently claim prizes for themselves, such as tampering with the lottery draw process itself. In lots countries, players can present their lottery tickets personally at shops to be sure of for winning numbers at the considered sale; cases possess emerged of retailers failing to inform customers of their winnings and claiming the prizes for themselves.
An alternative type of lottery fraud. categorised as a lottery scam, takes the proper execution of informing a person by email, letter or mobile call they have won a lottery prize. The victim is normally instructed to obtain a fee to enable the non-existent winnings to ready yourself. This type is some type of advance-fee fraud and a common email scam.
Numerous high-profile cases have emerged of lottery fraud worldwide. A counterfeit ticket scandal was recorded in 1913-1914 which involved fake tickets from the Cuban lottery obtainable in Puerto Rico, South Florida and the West Indies. The fraud was perpetrated by Cuban officials in the lottery. Through the 1960s, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s early petty criminal activities included selling fake lottery tickets. In 1999, a case of draw tampering emerged in Italy when the balls of the national Lotto were treated with varnish or heated. The blindfolded children who drew the winning numbers were then secretly instructed to select preselected numbers by sense for treated balls.
Between 1999 and 2006, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) was prone to widespread retailer fraud. Authorities remarked an improbably many lottery retailers in Ontario have been winning major prizes, from $50,000 to $12.5 million. Evidence emerged that one retailers were failing to inform customers of their winnings if indeed they offered their lottery tickets in-store, and fraudulently claiming prizes for themselves. A written report found proof widespread insider fraud among lottery retailers, including collusion with employees and family. Four OLG officials have been completely fined and dismissed.
In 1980, Nick Perry, TV host of the Pennsylvania Lottery, was at the centre of the 1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal, a fraud that involved creating replicas of the state ping-pong balls within the Pennsylvania Lottery machines. The specially weighted balls ensured that limited combinations of numbers were likely to be drawn. Perry’s accomplices then purchased a whole lot of tickets around the state corresponding to the predicted draw results, enabling them to claim approximately $1.8 million in prize money. Suspicions were aroused when authorities remarked a large number of tickets have already been purchased for the eight possible combinations. On 20 May 1981, Perry was convicted of criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief, theft by deception, rigging a publicly exhibited contest and perjury, and was sentenced to seven years in prison. His accomplices have been also tried and convicted.
In 2017, in the Hot Lotto fraud scandal, Eddie Raymond Tipton, former information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), rigged a random number generator to defraud the Hot Lotto lottery game of $14.3 million. On 20 July 2015, Tipton was found guilty on two counts of fraud and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. Subsequent criminal investigations revealed that Tipton had also rigged other state lotteries: the Colorado Lottery in 2005 ($568,990 jackpot prize paid to Tipton’s brother Tommy); the Wisconsin Lottery in 2007 ($783,257 prize paid to Tipton’s accomplice); and the Oklahoma Lottery in 2011 ($1.2 million prize). Tipton was tried again in 2017 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.