Retired Couple Reveals How They Cracked The Code Of State Lotteries Winning Over $26 Million
An elderly couple who have won more than $26 million playing state lotteries is now telling their story to Hollywood. A movie is being made of how they used simple arithmetic to beat the system. Jerry and Marge Selbee have made millions in a number of state lottery games spanning the last six years. They have also helped others in their home town of Evert, Michigan win as well.
The couple has sold the convenience store they had owned and run for 17 years in 2003. That was after Jerry made a discovery that changed their lives forever. He holds a BA in mathematics from Western Michigan University. When he saw a brochure touting a new lottery called Winfall, he figured out how to win it within minutes.
The unique feature he cracked was the ‘roll down’. That occurred when no one won the $5 million jackpot and it was then divided between those who matched five, four, and three numbers. The lottery announced that this was about to happen which Jerry took advantage of by buying thousands of tickets. He mathematically figured out that he would get a certain number of five, four, and three matches if he bought enough tickets.
Jerry evidently worked out that if he played $1,100 worth of tickets, he would have one four-number winner, which would give him a $1,000 return. Clever. He also figured out that he would have either 18 or 19 three-number winners, which would pay out $50 each. That would leave him with a $1,900 return.
When he first tried cracking the code, Jerry doubled his money. He bought $3,600 of Winfall tickets and got back $6,300. After that, he bought $8,000 at the next ‘roll down’ and nearly doubled that amount again. When he told Marge, she was shocked. After that, they started playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars. And they won.
Jerry used to work for Kellogg’s in Battle Creek, Michigan. He designed boxes to increase the shelf life of freeze-dried foods and cereals. Now he has set up a corporation called G.S. Investment Strategies. He had family and friends buy shares in the company for $500 each.
From The Daily Mail:
“When the Michigan game was closed down for ‘lack of sales’, the couple set their sights on a Massachusetts game, around 900 miles away.
“For six years, Selbee’s group, which was made u-p of around 25 members, and a few others dominated Cash WinFall during ‘rolldown weeks’ when prizes swell to five to 10 times the normal amount.
“The couple would sit in a Red Roof Inn, sorting through the tickets by hand for 10 hours a day for 10 days in a row, putting over $600,000 on per play, seven times a year.
“The Selbee’s kept all the losing tickets, which amounted to around 18 million, in 65 plastic buckets in their barn.
“Mr Selbee told CBS News: ‘It is actually just basic arithmetic. It gave you the satisfaction of being successful at something that was worthwhile to not only us personally but to our friends and our family.
“‘The only thing I found really remarkable is nobody else really seemed to grasp it.’
“Their remarkable story came to light in 2011 when the Boston Globe got a tip that Cash Winfall tickets were being sold at an extraordinary volume.
“The newspaper found the Selbees and a group of math major students from MIT were dominating the game.
“Between $17 and $18 million was bet by the MIT syndicate over a seven-year period, earning at least $3.5 million in profits.
“As a result, the Massachusetts state treasurer shut down the Cash Winfall game and called for an investigation, with fears the game was rigged.
“But the investigation found none of the odds of winning were affected by the high-volume of betting.
“Their corporation made a total of $26 million and the Selbees came away with nearly $8 million profit before taxes.”
The couple has used their money to renovate their home and help out their six children, 14 grandchildren, and their 10 great-grandchildren pay for their education. This is not a couple who has squandered their winnings. Now, they’ll get even wealthier by selling the rights to their story to Hollywood.
Source: The Daily Mail