Meet Jerry Selbee the extraordinary mathematician who has become the stuff of legend in the lottery world, earning $26 million by using simple arithmetic to beat the odds of a popular state lottery game.
Their story begins in 2003, when, after looking at ways to make a little extra money in retirement, Jerry and his wife Marge who are from Michigan stumbled across a brochure for a new lottery called Winfall.
Jerry who graduated college with a degree in mathematics, set about calculating the lotteries roll down effect and suddenly realised he could be on to a winning formula.
If no one won the jackpot the prize money rolled down to winners in the lower division prizes so Jerry's plan was to purchase thousands of tickets on the assumption that he would get at least a few matches and pocket some profit.
And it worked. On the first attempt the math genius purchased $3,600 of Winfall tickets and won back $6,300.
The next time, he nearly doubled his $8000 investment and thus began the process of playing on roll down weeks with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Wanting friends and family to benefit from their well-thought-out financial plan the couple set up a corporation called GS Investment Strategies.
They began inviting people to join them on the quest for bigger wins, asking for $500 per share. For the next 6 years the corporation enjoyed multiple lottery winnings during roll down weeks, sometimes playing more than $600,000 per attempt.
The Winfall game eventually closed down in Michigan for lack of sales but that did not deter the couple, they simply began playing in Massachusetts where the game was still being offered.
"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,’ Jerry Selbee said.
More than $17 million was bet before the game was completley shut down but not before the group of twenty five people earned $26 million total and made themselves a healthy $8 million profit.