4 Amazingly Talented Mathematicians Who Managed to Beat the Lottery

4 Amazingly Talented Mathematicians Who Managed to Beat the Lottery

Lottery mathematics is an incredibly complicated thing. You need at least a master’s degree to conceptualize a formula capable of increasing your chances of success. Or maybe you think that finding such a formula isn’t possible at all?

Several people already have managed to prove you wrong.

These are the stories of the amazing individuals that discovered a lottery prediction formula based on a loophole in the algorithm.

Did they become rich and famous because of the power of their brain? Let’s find out together.

The Couple That Won Millions Through a Basic Arithmetic Loophole

Jerry and Marge Selbee

Jerry and Marge Selbee were an ordinary retired couple from Michigan. They lived in a tiny town, and nothing suggested the massive change that occurred in their lives.

In 2003, Jerry spotted out of the corner of his eye a brochure for a new lottery game in the store. The game was called Winfall. In three minutes, Jerry’s math-savvy brain identified an opportunity that nobody else had noticed.

Jerry was intrigued by a game feature called Rolldown. In the case of Winfall, a jackpot that reached five million dollars without being won rolled down to the next prize tier instead of rolling over to the next drawing. Whenever this happened, the payouts for those who matched fewer numbers than those required for the jackpot increased exponentially.

Through basic arithmetic, Jerry calculated the investment he had to made in tickets to ensure, three-digit, four-digit or five-digit wins whenever the jackpot rolled down. Based on his lottery probability formula, Jerry estimated that his chances of winning in the case of a Winfall Rolldown were approximately 80 percent.

So when the next rolldown was announced, Jerry decided to test his formula. He bought Winfall tickets worth 3,600 dollars. He won 6,300 dollars. The next time he bet 8,000 dollars and nearly doubled the sum.

Soon, Jerry told his wife, and the couple began betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on Winfall. As per Jerry’s final calculation, the couple invested 515,000 dollars in tickets and won back 853,000 dollars in the beginning. The enterprise got to be so big that friends and relatives were soon joining. Eventually, the annual investment went up to 4.2 million dollars!

The best aspect of Jerry and Marge’s winning strategy is that it happens to be entirely legitimate. Jerry and Marge continued buying tickets throughout six years, and over time, Jerry’s winning club acquired a total of 25 members.

Australia’s Math Wiz Who Won the Jackpot 14 Times

Stefan Mandel

Mathematician Stefan Mandel from Australia is the hero in our next story.

Mandel is one of the people who has mastered lottery mathematics to near perfection. Based on a complex lottery prediction formula, Mandel managed to win the lottery jackpot a total of 14 times, and he didn’t break the law by utilizing his exceptional skills.

Stefan Mandel was born in Romania, and he tested the formula for the first time in his home country. It was so successful that he obtained the funds to flee Romania and move to Australia.

A skilled mathematician, Mandel next decided to fine-tune the formula a bit and make it applicable to Australian lotteries. The problem, however, was the bigger number of possible combinations to explore due to the Australian lottery winning mechanism.

Eventually, Mandel narrowed it down to an algorithm that enabled him to focus on guessing more numbers and winning the bigger prizes. The formula enabled Mandel to win the lottery 12 times before authorities became alarmed.

To limit his options down, authorities introduced a limit on the number of tickets a single person could purchase. But Mandel turned out to be a crafty fellow who quickly found willing business partners. Eventually, authorities introduced many other limitations, all of them tailored to the success streak of a single immigrant from Romania.

Eventually, Mandel got tired of working around the laws, and he turned his attention to American lotteries. The Virginia lottery was the one that got him interested and working on a new lottery combinations formula. The possible combinations were calculated at 7.1 million. Mandel discovered willing investors who helped him, each one investing 2,500 dollars in the acquisition of US lottery tickets.

In 1992, when the jackpot was over 27 million dollars, Mandel and his team bought every single possible number combination for the Virginia Lottery. They won.

Mandel wasn’t happy with this win, and he attempted to target many other lotteries across the globe. An attempt to crack down an Israeli lottery, however, led to criminal fraud charges and Mandel’s imprisonment. He was also forced to do a bankruptcy filing.

The Luckiest Woman Alive

Joan Ginther

Joan Ginther was nicknamed the luckiest woman alive after she won four lottery jackpots.

Through her endeavors, she amassed the magnificent sum of over 20 million dollars. She studied math at Stanford, and she used her knowledge to track down scratch tickets holding the largest possible amounts.

Ginther won the lottery in 1993, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Experts have calculated the odds of this happening at 1 in 18 septillions (can you even imagine such a number?).

Unlike the other mathematicians who won the lottery, Ginther didn’t go public. She didn’t give interviews or provide additional details about how she accomplished what she did. Instead, she left everybody speculating and wondering about her accomplishment.

What’s known is that her first win in 1993 was attributed to luck. This luck is considered to be the inspiration for the development of Ginther’s algorithm. You’ve probably noticed there’s a bit gap between her first and her second year. Reports suggest she used all of this time and her Stanford doctorate education to determine a certain way to win time and time again.

Ginther focused mainly on logistics and the manner in which scratch tickets were distributed to different shops. She tracked information about how many prizes were already won and how many tickets were shipped to different parts of her home state. There are also some speculations she had a partner and she also bought a large number of tickets. This approach made it possible to improve the odds of purchasing a winning scratch ticket.

Still, we will be left wondering about how Ginther had done it. The truth of the matter is that nobody has managed to replicate the same level of accomplishment in the realm of scratchcard lottery games.

The Man Who Cracked the Code Out of Curiosity

Mohan Srivastava

All of the heroes in our stories so far used their knowledge to win money. But here’s the bright example of one man who used lottery mathematics out of curiosity rather than to ensure personal gains.

Mohan Srivastava cracked the code of scratch lotteries, and he didn’t make a single cent from his discovery.

The geological statistician loved analyzing numbers and discovering patterns. On top of that, his knowledge was backed up by degrees from Stanford and MIT in the US.

His interest in the lottery started when a friend gave him a couple of tickets for a lottery. One of the tickets was winning, and on his way to claiming the prize, Srivastava wondered how the mass manufactured tickets were distributed and how statistics could be used to predict where the winning scratch cards are hiding.

Doing some research and using his knowledge, the honorable statistician found out that the scratch lottery was flawed and there was a way to crack the code.

Eventually, Srivastava came up with a lottery prediction formula that enabled him to identify winning tickets with 90 percent accuracy.

Srivastava, however, was never interested in using this knowledge for his gain. He found himself addressing Ontario lottery and informing them about the weakness. As a result of his intervention, the faulty lottery game was pulled from the market the very next day.

As you can see, it’s not all about the money!

These examples are just a few of the bright minds that have managed to beat the odds. Throughout the history of lotteries and betting, people have been attempting to improve their odds of winning. Apart from the mathematicians we’ve talked about already, there have been professors and statisticians applying their knowledge to an array of other games. Some of them cracked blackjack, roulette and numerous other betting games that are considered to be unbeatable.