IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Eddie Tipton, a former employee at the Multi-State Lottery Association, is accused of installing software on Random Number Generators that allowed him to predict winning combinations for drawings that occurred on three dates every non-leap year — Nov. 23, Dec. 29 and May 27. So far, he and his associates have been linked to winning tickets in five states between 2005 and 2011. Here are the details:
— Colorado: Nov. 23, 2005: Tipton’s brother Tommy Tipton, a Texas magistrate, buys the winning ticket for a $4.5 million Colorado Lotto jackpot. Two other winning tickets are sold, and investigators suspect one of them also is tied to the scheme. Tommy Tipton recruits a friend to claim his $568,900 cash payout, saying he wants to hide the winnings from his wife. The friend gets 10 percent.
— Wisconsin: Dec. 29, 2007: Tipton’s friend Robert Rhodes, of Sugar Land, Texas, wins a $2 million Megabucks drawing in Wisconsin. He opts to take the $783,000 cash payout, which he splits with Eddie Tipton by delivering him briefcases full of cash when they visit each other in the coming months. Rhodes had a limited liability corporation claim the prize, which required him to sue the Wisconsin Lottery and get a court order. Rhodes later tells investigators that Eddie Tipton supplied him with note cards of the potential combinations to purchase.
— Kansas: Dec. 29, 2010: Tipton buys two winning tickets at convenience stores in Overland Park and Emporia for the Kansas 2by2 game. Each is worth $22,000. Tipton asks two friends to claim one ticket each, and they each give him back a portion of the payout. He tells one friend that her proceeds can be considered a gift for her recent engagement.
— Iowa: Dec. 29, 2010: Tipton buys the winning ticket for a $16.5 million Hot Lotto jackpot at a Des Moines gas station. Investigators say he passes the winning ticket to Rhodes in Texas, who then works with others in Canada and New York in an unsuccessful attempt to claim the prize in 2011. The Iowa Lottery refuses to pay after a trust formed to claim the prize refuses to reveal who bought the ticket. Tipton is identified as the buyer after investigators release gas station surveillance video in 2014.
— Oklahoma: Nov. 23, 2011: Tommy Tipton buys the winning ticket for a $1.2 million Hot Lotto jackpot in Oklahoma. Investigators say he recruited Texas construction company owner Kyle Conn to claim the prize.
Source: AP research
SAO PAULO (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered in Sao Paulo on Sunday for one of the world’s largest gay pride parades with this year’s event focusing on the threat of religious fundamentalism to Brazil’s LGBT community.
Under a giant rainbow-colored flag, revelers of all ages, many wearing bright wigs, turned the city’s Paulista avenue into a multicolored sea of people filling more than 10 city blocks. Organizers said they expected 3 million people to participate in Sao Paulo’s 21st annual gay pride parade, though military police did not release a crowd estimate.
Grammy award-winning singer Daniela Mercury and Brazilian pop star Anitta performed at a parade that organizers said would focus on secularism and the idea that no religion is law regardless of people’s individual beliefs.
Parade organizer Claudia Regina said on the event’s official Facebook page that “our main enemies today are religious fundamentalists,” warning that some groups insist on condemning LGBT people and “removing rights that we have already obtained.”
Adopting the political tone, some revelers held up signs depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as drag queens.
Many at the parade shared the feeling that religious fundamentalists are threatening rights.
“They just need to let us have the right to live, to have the right to be happy,” said Sheila Star, a drag queen in her mid-50s.
The city of Sao Paulo said in a statement that it had invested over $400,000 in infrastructure for the parade. Tourists from all over Brazil and Latin America fly to Sao Paulo to attend the celebration.
“We see that religious parents have a lot of prejudice in accepting their own kids,” said Andrea Carvalho who coordinates the Mother’s for Diversity group and flew from Santa Catarina to Sao Paulo for the parade.
Associated Press Video Journalist Alexandre Rampazzo contributed to this report.
Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHL’s expansion draft list being released.
“The most fun I’ve ever had in hockey,” McPhee said in a video posted of him driving to the team’s headquarters on Sunday.
And that was before McPhee learned of the high-profile group of players he’ll have to choose from — limited to one from each of the 30 teams — in stocking the Golden Knights roster before submitting his list on Wednesday.
There’s a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie in Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury available and several 20-plus-goal-scorers in Nashville’s James Neal and Minnesota’s Eric Staal. As there’s a number of top defensemen exposed such as Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen and Ottawa’s Marc Methot.
“The issue for us isn’t going to be, ‘Can we fill out the roster?'” McPhee told reporters after the list was released. “It would be, ‘Do we have too many players?’ There are a lot of good players there.”
Vegas is holding all the cards while the rest of the NHL comes to a full stop in awaiting McPhee to determine his selections over a three-day stretch during which the Golden Knights are the only team allowed to make trades and sign pending free agents.
McPhee wasn’t prepared to discuss individual players when specifically asked about Fleury, but noted there were no surprises based on the numerous mock drafts the Golden Knights conducted over the past few months. The one thing that didn’t materialize was a large number of trades happening involving players teams didn’t want to expose.
That benefits the Golden Knights because it maintained a deeper pool of talent available.
“We really like what we’re looking at right now,” McPhee said. “We expect to put a good, entertaining club on the ice.”
Fleury was left unprotected by Pittsburgh after he agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract. The Penguins instead protected Matt Murray a week after the second-year goalie led them to win their second consecutive championship.
Vatanen, who will miss the start of the season after having shoulder surgery, and Josh Manson were the odd men out in Anaheim, because the Ducks couldn’t protect their all their talented core of defensemen.
The Predators were put in a bind in being forced to expose Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman.
Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeles’s Dustin Brown, Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo’s Zach Bogosian and Dallas’ Dan Hamhuis are also available.
There’s also a wealth of proven goaltenders available given that teams were required to expose at least one. Aside from Fleury, other goalies available are Florida’s Roberto Luongo, Detroit’s Petr Mrazek and Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth.
The unprotected list includes players eligible to become restricted or unrestricted free agents. Any pending free agent signed would count as Vegas’ expansion-draft selection from that player’s team.
San Jose has two notable veteran free agents in Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. But it’s unlikely the two would consider joining an expansion team at this point in their respective careers.
What’s uncertain is how many trades the Golden Knights will reach with teams to influence which player Vegas selects or avoids in exchange for draft picks, something McPhee hopes to stockpile.
“We’ve got lots of things lined up, but until we see everything, we don’t have anything,” McPhee said. He intends to inform teams who Vegas is selecting in the event they want to strike a deal to have the Golden Knights choose another player.
There’s also nothing barring Vegas from making deals to select a player and trade him to another team.
The Islanders were the only team that protected five defensemen: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech, leaving forwards Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome and defensemen Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey available.
Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the team’s payroll structure under the salary cap. Ryan has five years left on a seven-year $50.8 million contract and represents a $7-plus-million cap hit.
Based on previous mock drafts, McPhee doesn’t expect the Golden Knights to have any difficulty getting to the NHL’s minimum payroll of 60 percent of the $75 million salary cap.
The release of the teams’ protected lists kicks off a busy two-week stretch for the NHL. The league’s annual awards ceremonies will be held in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then teams will gather in Chicago for the two-day entry draft, which opens on Friday.
Then comes the start of free agency, which opens on July 1.
For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey
HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — In light, shifty winds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound, Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand made fewer mistakes than Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA and won the first two races of the 35th America’s Cup.
It wasn’t the cleanest start to sailing’s biggest regatta, leaving more questions than answers as both teams headed back to their bases to pore over data and figure out where they need to sharpen up.
Although they won twice, by 30 seconds and 1 minute, 28 seconds, the Kiwis lead just 1-0. Oracle earned a bonus point for winning the qualifiers, but it was actually a negative point for the Kiwis, so the first-race win merely erased that. That means they need to win eight races total to spirit the Auld Mug back to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, where it resided from 1995 until 2003. Oracle needs to win seven to keep the silver trophy in the hands of American software billionaire Larry Ellison.
“We’re under no illusions,” said Burling, 26. “We’ve got a lot of hard work to do to keep pushing forward. All the people in the shed back at the base are already going over the boat and trying to get little bits of speed to start throwing at these guys.”
Other than the Kiwis remaining fast in light conditions, there’s not much of a conclusion to draw yet.
After all, the 2013 America’s Cup proved that no lead is safe.
This is a rematch of that epic regatta, when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Oracle Team USA won eight straight races on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in international sports.
Still, this isn’t the start the powerhouse Oracle squad expected.
“It was obviously a tough day,” Spithill said. “Clearly we weren’t sailing at our best. But we had our opportunities. We had our chances, but these guys made fewer mistakes. The good news is, we’re only one back.”
Burling, who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, again appeared unflappable. He is an America’s Cup rookie.
Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America’s Cup before he turns 38.
For a few dramatic minutes, it looked like Spithill was going to salvage a split of Saturday’s races. The American-backed crew benefited from a wind shift sailing upwind on leg five in the second race and made up a huge deficit, pulling right behind the Kiwis sailing through the gate mark. But its 50-foot catamaran came off its foils during a bad gybe and buried its bows in the water, allowing the Kiwis to speed back ahead and open a lead of more than 300 yards.
Spithill thinks the splashdown was caused by a problem with one of the rudders.
“I think we saw just how a couple of times these guys built a healthy lead, and in the blink of an eye it’s back on again,” Spithill said. “We were far from our best today. We’re obviously going to put some hours in now, really have a good look back through all the video, all the data, sharpen up and come out swinging tomorrow.”
The low-key Kiwi crew shook hands after crossing the finish line of the second race just off the America’s Cup Village on the site of a former Royal Navy base.
Spithill told his crew: “Hang in there.”
Races 3 and 4 are scheduled Sunday.
The Kiwis snapped a 10-race losing streak to Oracle, including eight at the end of the 2013 regatta and two in the round-robins this year.
In the first race, Spithill was over the starting line early, forcing him to drop two boat lengths behind to clear the penalty. The Kiwi catamaran rose onto its hydrofoils and sped ahead.
But the Kiwis later came off their foils during a difficult maneuver and slowed dramatically in the tough conditions, losing half their lead. They had enough of an advantage to hit the line well ahead.
The always-innovative Kiwis are using a “cyclor” grinding system. They’ve built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards.
Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson
CHICAGO (AP) — During the two-and-a-half years Illinois has gone without a state budget, the previously little-known office of comptroller has had the unenviable job of essentially sitting at the kitchen table trying to figure out how to pay the bills.
Like any household, there are some items that must be paid first. A mix of state law, court orders and pressure from credit rating agencies requires Illinois to make its debt and pension payments, for example, and issue state worker paychecks and some money for schools.
Now Comptroller Susana Mendoza is warning that new court orders in lawsuits filed by state suppliers that are owed money mean her office is required to pay out more than Illinois receives in revenue each month. That means there would be no money left for so-called “discretionary” spending — a category that in Illinois includes school buses, domestic violence shelters and some ambulance services.
“I don’t know what part of ‘We are in massive crisis mode’ the General Assembly and the governor don’t understand. This is not a false alarm,” said Mendoza, a Chicago Democrat. “The magic tricks run out after a while, and that’s where we’re at.”
It’s a new low, even for a state that’s seen its financial situation grow increasingly desperate amid a standoff between the Democrat-led Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Illinois already has $15 billion in overdue bills and the lowest credit rating of any state, and some ratings agencies have warned they will downgrade the rating to “junk” if there’s no budget before the next fiscal year begins July 1.
Rauner on Thursday said he was calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a special session, after the Legislature adjourned May 31 without approving a state spending plan — the third straight year lawmakers have been unable to agree on a budget. Legislators are due at the Capitol on Wednesday, and Rauner said the session will continue through June 30 or until the two sides have a deal.
“Everyone needs to get serious and get to work,” he said in a video announcing the session that his office posted on Facebook.
Lawmakers from both parties have acknowledged Illinois needs to raise taxes to make up for revenue lost when a previous tax hike expired, leaving the state on pace to take in $6 billion less than it is spending this year — even without a budget.
Rauner, a former businessman who is seeking a second term in 2018, wants Democrats to approve changes he says are needed to improve Illinois’ long-term financial health before he’ll support a tax increase. Among them are term limits for lawmakers, a four-year property tax freeze and new workers’ compensation laws that would reduce costs for employers.
Democrats say they’re willing to approve some items on Rauner’s list, but that what he’s demanding keeps changing or goes too far and would hurt working families. Senate Democrats also note that they approved a $37 billion budget with $3 billion in cuts and an income tax increase in May. The House has not taken up that plan.
In the absence of a budget, funding has been reduced or eliminated in areas such as social services and higher education. Many vendors have gone months without being paid. And increasingly, they’re filing lawsuits to try to get paid.
The courts already have ruled in favor of state workers who want paychecks, as well as lottery winners whose payouts were put on hold. Transit agencies have sued, as has a coalition of social service agencies, including one that’s run by Rauner’s wife.
Health care plans that administer the state’s Medicaid program also asked a federal judge to order Mendoza’s office to immediately pay $2 billion in unpaid bills. They argued that access to health care for the poor and other vulnerable groups was impaired or “at grave risk” because the state wasn’t paying providers, causing them to leave the program.
Judge Joan Lefkow ruled June 7 that Illinois isn’t complying with a previous agreement to pay the bills and gave attorneys for the providers and the state until Tuesday to work out a level of payment.
Mendoza says whatever that amount will be, it will likely put Illinois at the point where 100 percent of revenues must be paid to one of the office’s “core priorities,” such as those required by court order. And if this lawsuit doesn’t do it, the next court ruling against the state will.
Then, she’s not sure what will happen, other than more damage.
“Once the money’s gone, the money’s gone, and I can’t print it,” Mendoza said.
Follow Sara Burnett on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sara—burnett
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian security forces have quickly disbursed small protests against a disputed deal which gives control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
Anti-riot police were deployed on Friday after calls spread on social media to rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s agreement. It came two days after Egypt’s parliament — packed by el-Sissi supporters— voted to ratify the deal.
The vote fueled anger which has been largely suppressed under a heavy security campaign since last year.
On Friday, the few protesters who dared to gather were quickly dispersed. One video posted on social media showed a dozen of protesters in downtown Cairo, clapping and chanting, “The islands are Egyptian” before they started to run in panic with gunfire heard in the background.