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How maths genius ‘hacked’ lottery with perfect number formula to win 14 TIMES – before he ended up bankrupt

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A SAVVY brain and a perfect number formula was all it took for a maths whizz to win the lottery 14 TIMES – until his luck ran out.

Desperate for cash, Romanian economist Stefan Mandel, now 89, found an ingenious way to “hack” the system and bag himself thousands.

Stefan Mandel figured out a way to guarantee winning the lottery 14 times

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Stefan Mandel figured out a way to guarantee winning the lottery 14 timesCredit: Twitter
The Romanian economist came up with his own 'number-picking algorithm'

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The Romanian economist came up with his own ‘number-picking algorithm’Credit: AP
Mandel went on to organise a syndicate to cash more money in through the many lotto wins

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Mandel went on to organise a syndicate to cash more money in through the many lotto winsCredit: YouTube

Born in 1934, Mandel’s exploits and his systematic approach to winning lotteries made him a legendary figure in the history of lottery gaming.

After years of planning and mathematical research, he came up with a “number-picking algorithm” which drew on a method he called “combinatorial condensation”.

Mandel discovered that since a lottery draw could only have a certain number of possibilities, purchasing a ticket for each potential outcome might be less expensive than the jackpot prize.

For example, if a game required the selection of six numbers between 1 and 40, there would be 3,838,380 possible number combinations.

But if the prize pool was £10 million and each ticket cost £1, he would have made a tidy profit.

Because he didn’t have millions of dollars to spend on millions of tickets, Stefan organised a syndicate with four other players to combine their money.

Like that, the group could then buy a larger number of tickets to increase their odds at winning, and later split their fortune.

His first win in the 1960s landed Stefan and the syndicate the top lotto prize at the time, worth over £15,000 (7,700 Leu).

LOTTO WINNERS WHO LOST IT ALL

After paying his fellow team mates he was left with just £3,000 – but it was enough to bribe officials and escape Romania’s Communist system.

The “lotto hacker” then moved to Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Stefan grew his operation greatly from Down Under, winning 14 lotteries, including draws all the way in the United States.

The maths whizz, however, ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1995

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The maths whizz, however, ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1995Credit: YouTube
Mandel whizz set up a warehouse in Australia where his staff printed a total of 7 million lottery tickets

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Mandel whizz set up a warehouse in Australia where his staff printed a total of 7 million lottery ticketsCredit: YouTube

LOTTO WAREHOUSE

He also won hundreds of thousands of smaller prizes across Australia and the UK.

The maths whizz set up a warehouse where his 16 employees printed a total of 7 million tickets over three months.

In the US, Stefan used scouts and accumulated data on previous lotteries with jackpots greater than the total cost of purchasing all probable winning tickets.

The group went on to target six state lotteries, prioritising them by the desired jackpot.

Mandel also set up an official company called Pacific Financial Resources, and under it also developed a trust called the International Lotto Fund.

The savvy economist even managed to persuade thousands of investors to boost their funding pool by millions.

The mathematician outsmarted everyone and was one step ahead of the game by using completely legal tactics.

NO MORE MONEY

At first, it all seemed to have gone well to the lotto genius, who told Romanian newspaper Bursa in 2012: “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.”

But by the 1990s, lottery organisations had caught on and banned the use of bulk purchasing and computer-generated tickets.

While Mandel’s method was not illegal, it still raised suspicions and later saw himself dragged into a four-year legal battle.

The lotto whizz was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing — but while he managed to pocket millions from the win, his investors were left with much smaller payouts that promised.

This led to Mandel filing for bankruptcy in 1995 and all US states have now passed laws banning the use of his strategy.

The 89-year-old now lives on the tropical island of Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, where many of his disbanded syndicate retired to.

After his numerous lottery successes, Mandel now leads a quiet life away from the public eye.

His move was partly motivated by a desire for a peaceful lifestyle and to avoid the scrutiny and legal complexities he faced in various countries due to his lottery strategies.

Lucky lottery wins

Ray Wragg – Ray used to drive around Sheffield and write down random car number plates to pick his numbers for each Lotto draw.

In 2000 this method delivered six lucky numbers worth £6million to Ray and his wife Barbara.

Paul Watson – Paul was on his way home from work when he remembered his wife had asked him to bring some sour cream home to go with their dinner of chilli.

Despite having been up since 5am he trudged back to the supermarket to get the sour cream, and a Lotto ticket. The next morning the couple were £1.2million richer.

Joseph Whiting – Joseph Whiting was at home with no plans and so decided to go out and get a lottery ticket before watching the draw on TV.

With the draw closing at 19.30pm, he remembers the newsagent checking the clock before getting his ticket just a few minutes before.

He left the shop with three Lucky Dips safely tucked in his wallet, one of which turned out to be worth a whopping £4.5million.

Self-employed builder Gareth Bull was stuck in his van bemoaning the rain that was stopping him getting on with a job. To avoid getting wet he drove with the lads to a shop he’d never been to before. There he bought a single EuroMillions Lucky Dip®. That rainy day purchase proved to be a winner, worth a stunning £40.6M.

Gareth Bull – Gareth was stuck in his van irritated with the rain that was stopping him doing his building work.

To avoid getting wet he drove to a shop he’d never been to before.

There he bought a single EuroMillions Lucky Dip.

That rainy day purchase proved to be a winner, worth a stunning £40million.

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