A man used a simple math formula to win the lotto jackpot 14 times.
Most people will never win the lottery in their lifetimes – and if they do, it’s more likely to be £10 than £1 million.
Some choose their own numbers, while others opt for the lucky dip option.
But one man had his lottery technique down to a fine art – and made plenty of cash in the process.
Find out why this young woman wanted to sue the lottery after winning a huge jackpot…
Stefan Mandel shattered the system and claimed an astonishing 14 enormous jackpots, only for his success to eventually crumble.
Mandel, driven by financial desperation, unravelled the secret when he ingeniously secured thousands for himself.
Through extensive years of meticulous planning and mathematical exploration, the Romanian economist formulated a groundbreaking ‘number-picking algorithm’ based on his innovative technique known as ‘combinatorial condensation’.
Stefan made a striking revelation that in certain lottery draws, the expense of purchasing all potential ticket combinations was surprisingly lower than the value of the jackpot prize.
To illustrate, consider a game where players had to select six numbers between 1 and 40, resulting in a total of 3,838,380 unique number combinations.
In the case where the jackpot amounted to £10 million, and tickets were priced at £1 each, Stefan realised he could potentially secure a substantial profit.
Teaming up with a circle of companions, Stefan established a syndicate that invested significant sums into tickets, encompassing all potential combinations.
Their endeavour culminated in claiming the ultimate prize, an impressive sum exceeding £15,000.
Following the division of earnings among his fellow teammates, Stefan found himself with £3,000 remaining.
Although a reduced amount, it proved sufficient to provide bribes and facilitate his escape from Romania’s Communist regime.
In the 1960s, Stefan and his wife, along with their two children, embarked on a new chapter in Australia, where they sought to build a fresh life.
Through his clever approach, Stefan achieved the remarkable feat of winning the lottery a total of 14 times, all while remaining entirely within the bounds of the law.
Stefan successfully convinced a collective of investors to combine their funds, resulting in the formation of an expanded lotto syndicate.
In such syndicates, individuals contribute money to create a shared pool for purchasing lottery tickets.
The winnings, in turn, are distributed among the participating members.
As Stefan’s syndicate gained momentum, he devised an automated system that employed printers and computers to utilise his algorithm for generating tickets automatically, encompassing every possible number combination.
This innovative approach propelled the group’s success, leading them to secure 12 lottery jackpots and numerous substantial prizes in both Australia and the UK.
However, as Stefan’s achievements drew attention, authorities initiated investigations into him and his syndicate.
In response, lottery officials implemented rule changes that prohibited bulk ticket purchases and the utilisation of computer-generated entries.
However, Stefan’s determination persisted, and he continued to explore new avenues.
Having amassed considerable profits, Stefan used his resources to strategically position ‘scouts’ throughout the United States.
Additionally, he compiled a comprehensive list of past lotteries featuring jackpots that surpassed the sum of all potential number combinations by at least threefold.
His keen focus fell upon the Virginia Lottery, which limited its number selection to a range between one and 44.
This restriction significantly reduced the total number of possible combinations compared to other games.
Establishing an official company named Pacific Financial Resources, Stefan further devised a trust called the International Lotto Fund.
Remarkably, leveraging his background as an economist, he managed to convince thousands of investors to contribute millions to enhance the collective funding pool.
Within a warehouse located in Melbourne, Stefan employed a dedicated team of 16 full-time personnel who diligently printed a staggering seven million tickets over the course of three months.
These meticulously crafted tickets were then dispatched to an associate residing in the United States.
As fortune would have it, the syndicate struck gold, securing the coveted jackpot along with a multitude of other noteworthy prizes.
Although Mandel’s approach was not deemed illegal, it did raise suspicions that ultimately entangled him in a protracted legal battle lasting four years.
Eventually, he was exonerated of any wrongdoing.
However, while he successfully pocketed millions from his victories, his investors were left with significantly smaller payouts than initially anticipated.
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Consequently, Stefan found himself compelled to file for bankruptcy in 1995.
In response to his methodology, all US states have since enacted laws that prohibit the use of his strategy.
Despite the magnitude of his gamble, the individual who claimed these remarkable jackpots downplayed the risks he had undertaken in a candid interview with the Romanian newspaper, Bursa, in 2012.
He stated: “I’m a man who takes risks, but in a calculated way.
“Trimming my beard is a lottery: There is always the possibility that I’ll cut myself, get an infection in my blood, and die — but I do it anyway.
“The chances are in my favour.”
Now residing on the tropical island of Vanuatu, at the age of 89, Mandel lives alongside many of his former syndicate members who also chose to retire there.
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