Nope. not always true. Regardless of your statement i always picked middle card for TI. I got good and bad items all the time. I just wanted 5 TI's to end asap. Sometimes I didn't bother to click and pressed esc and still got good items. Before items are nerfed, red gourd was my first item in Hard Brothers, which it was the best item in the game.
Breakthrough, also not always true either. I always went from left to right. Sometimes items are good and bad, i don't really care. I even had 2 sealed scrolls by picking from left to right. It's all RGN, can't be bothered to get my head over it. This post was last edited by Petrichor
I know for a fact that the TI rewards are given before you actually flip the card.
Let your ninja tool slot fill up, this will make the reward go to your mail instead
Watch you new mail counter/notice, it will go up after the TI BEFORE you flip the card.
Alternatively, unequip your ninja tools, you will get the "you recieved a higher quality tool" notice before you flip. Thou due to the black shroud on the bottom half of the screen, this will be hidden and might only be visible for a split second before the shroud loads in (and that, my friend, is why there is the black shroud, not because it's visually awesome, but to hide the lie)
That said, that doesn't mean it's "rigged" in anyway, it might be, but that's difficult, if possible at all, to prove. I can only provide you the proof that the picking doesn't actually matter.
I am also unable to provide proof for the breakthrough one is also predetermined like TI, but it would make perfect sense if it is.