A Colorado man who shared a lottery jackpot with lotto-fixer Eddie Tipton is suing the Colorado State Lottery in an attempt to reclaim the rest of his winnings. It’s the first lawsuit of its kind and, if successful, could be a major headache for the US lottery business.
Amir Massihzadeh, on whose behalf the suit was filed, is an engineer from Boulder, Colorado who split an $4.8 million lottery jackpot with Tipton and one other man nearly a decade ago. At the time, Massihzadeh took a lump sum payment of $800,000 (which came to be $568,900 after taxes). What the Boulder man didn’t know, until the FBI informed him, was that one of the two other winner he split the jackpot with had been convicted of fixing lotteries and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the act.
Massihzadeh now reasons that since Tipton won due to fraud, that he should have split the original jackpot with the other, presumably legitimate, winner. In his eyes, he should have received three times the original amount of his first win. In his reckoning, that would amount to approximately $4 million, including interest.
His lawsuit goes on to point out that Tipton has actually reimbursed the Colorado State Lottery for his fraud, and that he is entitled to his portion of that repayment saying:
Even though the Tiptons have agreed to repay the money they received from the Lottery, the Lottery has refused to honor its obligation to Mr. Massihzadeh.
Massihzadeh is not the first lottery winner to sue because of Tipton’s fraud. An Iowa man who won a jackpot back in 2011 has filed a similar lawsuit. There’s also a class action suit underway that could, ultimately, involve hundreds of thousands of lottery players who purchased tickets for Tipton-tainted drawings.