Lottery winner explains the basic maths which saw him win 14 jackpots

Lottery winner explains the basic maths which saw him win 14 jackpots
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It’s common knowledge these days that the odds of someone winning the lottery are pretty miniscule. An often-cited statistic is that you’re more likely to be struck by lightning and die than choose the lucky ticket.

When there are millions of possible combinations for a lottery ticket then, well, you’d need to buy a lot of lottery tickets if you want to be in with a good chance of taking home the jackpot.

And that’s exactly what one Romanian economist named Stefan Mandel did, with the help of investors and a syndicate – named the International Lotto Fund or ILF - which saw them win a total of 14 lotteries around the world.

In an interview available on YouTube, Mandel explained: “Theoretically, anybody can buy all the possible combinations. Any high school boy or girl can calculate those combinations.

“Nobody has ever developed a logistical system to lodge such a large amount of play slips.

“We were the only winners and that was it.”

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Eventually, Mandel targeted a lottery in Virginia, where the rules around picking six numbers between one and 44 meant they only had 7,059,052 – apparently, this was a good thing.

You have more of a chance winning the Conservatives' lottery, if you wanted to take part in that for some reason.

What was also a good thing was that Virginia allowed individuals to purchase tickets and print them at home, making it a lot less inconvenient and awkward than doing it at a cashier – they only needed 30 computers.

It was in February 1992 that his syndicate went for a jackpot of $27m, and because they had done every ticket imaginable, they scooped up $900k in additional prizes for the tickets which placed second, third, fourth and so on.

14 international agencies investigated him and the ILF – including the CIA and FBI – but both were cleared of any wrongdoing.

And where is Mandel now? Well, according to The Hustle, he’s apparently spending his days in a beach house on a remote island off the coast of Australia.

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