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Siblings testify, defense rests in trial of former lottery worker accused of rigging game


DES MOINES, Iowa — Three siblings of a former lottery worker accused of rigging a Hot Lotto game testified on his behalf Thursday before his defense rested its case.

Attorneys for 52-year-old Eddie Tipton presented testimony for about an hour, Des Moines television station KCCI reported (http://bit.ly/1M8Ccmk ). Closing arguments are scheduled Friday.

Tipton, a former information security director for the Multi-State Lottery Association, is accused of installing a computer program to pick numbers for a December 2010 Hot Lotto drawing. Prosecutors say he bought a ticket with those numbers and unsuccessfully tried to get others to cash the $14 million prize without disclosing the buyer.

Tipton's job prohibited him from buying a ticket. He faces two counts of fraud and denies the accusations. Defense attorney Dean Stowers told jurors there's no evidence linking Tipton to people who tried to claim the ticket.

Tipton's three siblings testified that a hooded man featured in a video of the ticket purchase is not their brother because of differences in physical characteristics and mannerisms.

Steven Tipton, Eddie Tipton's brother, said the man in the publically circulated video released by authorities used his left hand as the dominant hand.

"My brother is not left-handed, he's right-handed," said Steven Tipton.

But Kathy Renaud, an employee for the Multi-State Lottery Association, testified that the man in the video had facial hair that Tipton has had in the past. She said she didn't immediately recognize the man.

"When I heard the audio of the video, it was Eddie," she said.

Information from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com

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