Stephen Mandel carefully calculated the logistics required to obtain all the number combinations of a specific lottery, thus guaranteeing himself a prize.
If you want to win the lottery, it is common to rely on luck as the determining factor. Many people resort to superstitious practices such as wearing a rabbit’s foot, practicing bibliography, or knocking on wood.
However, in the 1980s, Romanian-Australian economist Stefan Mandel came up with a different and more effective approach: an algorithm.
During his extraordinary career, Mandel managed to win the lottery a total of 14 times. His first two prizes came in his native Romania, where he tried to raise enough money to move his family out of the then-communist country, first to Israel and then to Australia, where he won the lottery 12 times, Business Insider reported. ,
Mandel’s method was based on a basic calculation: If you bought tickets with certain blocks of specific numbers, you could secure at least second place. In particular, Mandel found that the jackpot in some lotteries was more than triple the cost of buying each possible combination. This way, assuming you can get all combinations of numbers, the investment will be practically guaranteed.
With this innovative idea in mind, Mandel convinced two friends in Romania to join his plan, thus becoming its first “investors”. However, instead of taking second place, the trio found even greater success: they won first prize.
As reported by The Washington Post in 2019, once established in Australia, Stephen Mandel carried out his plan to win the lottery. Using a room full of printers and a computer program of his own making, Mandel carefully calculated the logistics needed to obtain all the number combinations for a specific lottery, thus guaranteeing himself a prize.
The only requirement was to have enough money to buy all the tickets. So, Mandel sought and found more investors willing to participate in his scheme, promising them a share of the profits. And the method worked brilliantly. He and his investors have won the lottery time and again. As in the television program “How Did They Do It?” revealed in an interview for. In the 90s, Mandel managed to win 12 times in the 1980s.
The television show recounts one of Stephen Mandel’s impressive victories, but this time not in Australia, but in the United States. There he discovered a lottery with a jackpot prize that was far greater than the cost of buying all possible combinations. A particularly interesting case was that of the new Virginia Lottery, which used only the numbers 1–44 in its draws, which meant that there were 7,059,052 possible combinations, far less than the regular lottery’s more than 25 million combinations.
After putting their plan into action, and two days of frantic buying, Mandel’s team managed to acquire 6.4 million of the 7 million combinations with money from 2,524 investors. And while there is always an inherent risk in Mande’s method, he and his team achieved the desired victory.
Despite being investigated by the FBI and CIA, no evidence of any crime was found. Overall, during his 14 separate lottery wins, Mandel won millions of dollars in prizes for himself and his investors. For example, in 1987, he won a $1.3 million prize, of which he took $97,000, Business Insider reported.
Eventually, Australia and the United States made so many changes to their lottery laws that Mendel’s plan became impossible today. You can no longer buy lottery tickets in bulk or print them at home, these are the two key parts of Mandel’s formula.
Since the end of his successful and unconventional career, Mandel has lived a quiet life in Vanuatu, a beautiful South Pacific island known for its impressive volcanoes and waterfalls.