If You Can Rig The Lottery Only Do It Once

Most fraudsters are caught because they’re a combination of shortsighted and greedy. Take this block for example:

A lottery vendor for years manipulated drawings to enrich himself and associates by installing software code that allowed him to predict winning numbers on specific days of the year, Iowa investigators alleged Wednesday.

Authorities called the newly obtained forensic evidence a breakthrough in the investigation of alleged jackpot-fixing scheme by Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. A jury convicted him last year of rigging a $16.5 million jackpot, and he’s awaiting trial on charges linking him to prizes in Colorado, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Assuming Mr. Tipton is actually guilty, he will join the ranks of fraudsters who were in a position and had the ability to execute a great self-enriching scam and were caught because they pulled it more than once.

The odds of winning the lottery are astronomical so winning more than once raises all sorts of red flags. If you’re in a position to manipulate the lottery, only do it once. You can usually get away with winning once. But when you start winning in your home state, the neighboring state, and three states away people begin to get suspicious. And if your friends seem to be winning as well there’s going to be an investigation.

People like to attribute these scams purely to greed. If greed was the only factor in these scams the culprits would walk away after they accomplished their initial mission. After all, if you get caught you don’t get to keep the money so a truly greedy person will take the cash and run. These scams are usually uncovered because the culprits are both greedy and shortsighted. They fail to properly assess the risks involved in their scams and therefore continue to perpetrate them again and again. Eventually their “luck” becomes suspicious and their scam is uncovered.