A Colorado lottery winner is suing the state's lottery office, trying to recoup the rest of a prize he says is rightfully his.
Amir Massihzadeh, from Boulder, was one of three winners of a $4.8 million Colorado Lottery Jackpot in November 2005. With the lump sum, and after taxes, he walked away with nearly $569,000.
He had thought nothing of the other winners until two agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation came to his door in 2015, to tell him he may have been the victim of a lottery rigging scam - one of multiple across the country.
Brothers Eddie and Tommy Tipton, pleaded guilty in Iowa to charges related to that scam earlier this year. Eddie Tipton, a now-former security director of Urbandale-based Multi-State Lottery Association, specifically programmed software that drew lottery numbers for several states. Prosecutors say the Tiptons conspired with others to buy the other two tickets in the 2005 drawing that made Massihzadeh a partial winner.
As part of the plea, the Tiptons will pay back the winnings they collected, but Massihzadeh believes the money should be his.
"He was informed he has the sole legitimate winning ticket to that game in 2005," Sean Duffy, the spokesperson for Massihzadeh's attorney told Next. "So, to be fair, he said, 'How about I get what I deserve, which is the full payout?' Unfortunately the state has refused to do that."
The Colorado Lottery said they cannot comment on ongoing litigation.