Winning the lottery would be a dream come true for many people, especially one of the major roll-over prizes. Sadly, the chances of winning the lottery are pretty astronomical which means that the vast majority of us will never know what it feels like to be a big winner. While it is the money that makes a difference in people’s lives, it is the outcome that comes from having the money that people are really after.
Being able to stop working and enjoy yourself doing the things that you want to do in life are the things that people are really looking for. If you were to win the lottery, the freedom and change in lifestyle would be the most pleasing thing and it is easy to see why so many people like having the daydream, even though the reality is that the odds are not in their favour.
Of course, if you had the chance to tip the odds in your favour, would you take it? Some people may think that they are lucky or that they have some spare cash so decide to buy extra tickets, but there isn’t really anything you can do to increase your chances of winning other than buying more tickets. There is no system or odds that you can take advantage of to make yourself more likely to win, but there will always be some flaw or factor that someone can take advantage of.
Lottery fraud is a big story
There is an interesting case in America at the moment involving a former security boss for a company that safeguarded a lottery in the United States. The man has been charged with fraud and the case relates to an alleged hacking of the computer that is used to pick the winning lottery numbers. Clearly this isn’t the sort of situation we have in Britain where we have minor celebrities standing in front of a machine watching balls spin around.
The Multi-State Lottery Association clearly believed that a simpler approach to picking the balls was better but this meant that there was an opportunity to commit fraud. Eddie Raymond Tipton was arrested in January of 2015 when the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations caught up with him, stating that they had CCTV footage of him buying the winning lottery ticket, even though the prize is yet to be claimed.
Software can be utilised to help commit fraud
A twist to the tale comes with the fact that a security camera in the room, facing the computer was altered so that it only recorded for one second every minute. There were a number of safety measures in place but these were circumvented and it is claimed that a “rootkit” was used, which is a computer program that is designed to carry out a task and then delete itself. In this case, the task was allegedly to call the winning numbers that Mr Tipton would later buy the ticket for.
Mike McLaughlin is a senior analyst at First Base, a computer security firm, and he spoke to the BBC about this style of case. Mike said; “It is entirely possible to code a rootkit on a USB drive which could interfere with software on a computer then delete itself. It would only take a second to run once plugged in. However, this can leave traces on the infected machine if you know where to look.”
Given that Mr Tipton was an employee of the company involved with the lottery, he was not allowed to actually win the lottery itself and the court heard how the deadline was nearly up for the prize to be claimed. It is believed that the claim was due to come in from a company that had been incorporated in Belize. There are clearly reasons why the company would be claiming this sort of prize but it is the sort of claim that would arouse suspicion. If Mr Tipton is found guilty of the two charges of fraud that he faces, he could face five years in prison while the fine he could face is available up to $7,500.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.