A lottery official who had run the Powerball lottery so many yearn for since it started in 1987 has stepped down amid an ongoing and far-reaching investigation.
Charles Strutt, 63, (above, left) was the executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. It had come under investigation after a jackpot-fixing scandal within the ranks of the organization grew.
Heâ€™d been stripped of his duties back in October by a board consisting of the directors of lotteries in 37 states and U.S. territories.
The Multi-State Lottery Association had come under investigation initially after its former security director, Eddie Tipton (above, right) is alleged to have committed widespread fraud and profited from it.
Investigators have stressed, however, that the evidence so far shows Mr. Tipton, not Mr. Strutt, as the only lottery official involved in the scheme.
Tipton was convicted in July of fraud for working with friends and associates to try and claim a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot. Mr. Strutt had testified for the prosecution, saying he believed a person shown on video buying the winning ticket in Des Moines, Iowa was Eddie Tipton.
On October 9th, authorities announced that they had uncovered new evidence showing Tipton had worked with others to fix jackpots and claim prizes worth millions of dollars in both Colorado and Wisconsin. Since then, however, the case has gone on to include jackpots in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Investigators accuse Tipton of using his access to the associationâ€™s random number generators to know winning combinations in advance, then he and his associates played those numbers and split the winnings.
Mr. Tipton maintains his innocence and is scheduled to have a second trial next month. The association had fired after 11 years on the job after his arrest back in January arrest. They also replaced machines heâ€™d worked on and strengthened its own security measures.
Mr. Strutt still has some support among some on the board, and hopes to return to his position when the Mr. Tiptonâ€™s case concludes.
â€œThe truth is, the lotteries voted Chuck out. Theyâ€™re holding him accountable for the actions of that security guy,â€ a Texas Lottery official said. â€œBut they donâ€™t want anybody to know.â€