A retired couple have beaten possibly all odds when it comes to winning the lottery thanks to “simple math”.
Jerry and Marge Selbee from Evart, Michigan, are multimillionaires because of a loophole in the gambling game.
After retiring in 2003, Jerry decided to follow the lotto closely and discovered that it’s easier than he thought to win, saying, “Anyone could have done it.”
The retiree inspected the game called WinFall and found that if no one won the jackpot of US$5 million ($7 million AUD), then the money would go to ticket holders with fewer winning numbers.
“I looked at the probabilities of the game and it said that when the WinFall actually occurred and no one won the jackpot, that the prize level would go up by a factor of 10,” Jerry said on 60 Minutes.
“US$50 for a three-number winner and US$1,000 for a four-number winner and the odds were one in, one in 56 and a half for a three-number winner and one in 1032 for a four-number winner.”
Jerry went on to explain that part of the problem when it comes to playing the lotto is that people think it is structured.
“I did not have to be lucky to win. I had to be unlucky to lose.”
Almost akin to placing a bet on himself, Jerry decided to test his theory and realised that he was right – and quickly came clean to his wife Marge who was all for it.
The couple would buy hundreds of thousands of tickets for the WinFall game – but disaster eventually struck when no more tickets were sold in their hometown.
Soon the pair had to drive 15 hours to Massachusetts to keep winning a similar style of lottery with the same “loophole” structure, but it was something they were both keen to do.
Eventually, they were caught out by investigators but Jerry and Marge were in fact not doing anything illegal.
Their story eventually became well known to the point that a film is being made for streaming service Paramount+ and will feature Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.
Despite their lifetime of winnings – in the many tens of millions over the years – Jerry and Marge remain quite humble, spending their money on education for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This article first appeared on OverSixty.