Inventive man cheated the lottery and won 14 times: what was his trick

Alina MilsentLife
Stefan Mandel won the lottery 14 times

Dreams of a jackpot and a comfortable life on the islands can become a reality if you approach the task with all pragmatism. That is exactly what Romanian-Australian economist Stefan Mandel did when he and his team of enthusiasts won lotteries many times in a row in the 1990s.

And it wasn't just luck or constant guessing of number combinations. Mandel developed a whole system, which was described by the publication Il science.

Mandel calculated the odds of winning the lottery and realized that they were incredibly low. For example, the chance of hitting the EuroMillions jackpot with a single ticket is 1 in 139,838,160. The economist set a goal to buy as many number combinations as possible to achieve the ratio of 139,838,160 to 139,838,160. Another problem arose: how to buy 139,838,160 tickets without having the money?

Mandel observed lottery trends for a long time and found that at some point, the winnings grew more than three times as much as the cost of buying each individual possible combination. He decided to take a chance, assuming that buying a combination of numbers would guarantee him a guaranteed return on his investment. So, he had to find a bunch of enthusiastic "investors" and involve them in the scheme. Mandel created algorithms to generate and print tickets (which some lotteries allowed at the time).

After waiting for a large enough jackpot, the team bought these tickets in stores, and the scheme worked.

After the winnings in Australia, Mandel noticed lotteries in the United States with jackpots that far exceeded the amount it would cost to buy each combination. Of particular interest was a new Virginia lottery that used only numbers from 1 to 44 in its drawings. That meant there were 7,059,052 possible combinations, which is much less than the usual 25 million or more.

When the jackpot became high enough - $15.5 million - he ordered his team to buy tickets in bulk. Of course, Mandel organized this unusual scheme in advance, but some "investors" backed out of the deal, so not all combinations went into play, reducing the chances of winning.

After two days of purchases, Mandel's team bought 6.4 million of the possible 7 million combinations needed to guarantee a win - and still won the jackpot.

The FBI and the CIA became interested in Mandel and his "young team", but did not find any illegal actions. In total, Mandela won 14 different lotteries, collecting millions of pounds for himself and his investors, after which he decided to retire and bought a house on the tropical islands of Vanuatu.

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