The story of Stefan Mandel, a Romanian economist, who legally gamed various lotteries across the globe and won 14 times. He started with understanding the mathematical probability behind lotteries in the 1960s and created an algorithm that significantly improved his odds of winning. After initial successes in Romania and Australia, Mandel moved on to the U.S. where he focused on the Virginia State Lottery. Despite the logistical challenges, Mandel managed to purchase 1.24 million out of the 1.4 million possible ticket combinations for a particular draw.
- Stefan Mandel was an economist from Romania who, driven by poverty, turned to the lottery as a means to generate income.
- Mandel utilized a mathematical approach to optimize his chances of winning the lottery, basing his research on theoretical probability papers and creating an algorithm to narrow down the number of tickets he’d need to purchase.
- He formed syndicates, convincing hundreds of investors to pool their money together, and used advanced logistics and computing to bulk-buy lottery tickets when jackpots were favorable.
- In a massive effort involving a team on the ground, he targeted the Virginia State Lottery, purchasing 1.24 million of the possible 1.4 million ticket combinations for a draw.
- While Mandel’s systematic approach allowed him to win multiple lotteries across the world, it also drew attention from authorities, leading to changes in lottery laws.