Michigan retirees won millions of dollars in prizes over a ten year period. How, though? Just ask Marge and Jerry and they’ll proudly say: they cheated.
The retired couple interviewed with 60 Minutes this weekend to chat about how they “cracked the code” to rake in $26 million by playing the lottery.
The tale commenced in 2003, when Jerry, who has a mathematics degree, identified an easy loophole in a Michigan Lottery game dubbed Winfall. The lottery game functioned differently than large draws like the Mega Millions, mainly because if nobody had all six matching numbers, the grand prize automatically “rolled down” to ticket holders with three, four, or five matching numbers.
What the Selbees figured out before anybody else was that, during a “roll-down” draw, any person who purchased a massive number of tickets was due for a handsome pay out when they matched three or more numbers repeatedly.
“It is actually just basic arithmetic,” said Jerry. “The only thing I found really remarkable is nobody else really seemed to grasp it.” The first time Jerry tested his theory, he invested $3,600 in tickets and won back $6,300. The next time, he spent $8,000 and took home almost twice as much!
In 2005, by the time Michigan cancelled Winfall, the couple had earned millions. However, the now-retirees weren’t ready to let go of their “cheating” ways just yet.
An analogous came in Massachusetts, named Cash Winfall, and could be exploited in the very same manner; the Selbees spent six years snatching up tickets whenever a roll-down draw was disclosed. The two procured hundreds of thousands of tickets, and spent as much as 10 hours daily weeding through them for winners.
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