Retired Couple Crack Lottery Code With Simple Math To Win $26 Million Jackpot

Retired Couple Crack Lottery Code With Simple Math To Win $26 Million Jackpot CBS

A retired Michigan couple has achieved the ultimate dream, scooping $26 million in the lottery. Jerry and Marge Selbee, from Evart, knew the odds were against them when they began playing the Powerbal drawing. In fact, their chances of matching all the numbers was a whopping one in 292 million. However, they used what they described as “simple arithmetic” to beat those odds.

As it turns out, their luck was more based on a loophole in a game called the Cash Winfall. That game has actually been suspended after authorities realized just how easy it is to exploit. Nevertheless, Marge and Jerry Selbee managed to grab a total of $26 million in winnings before the Cash Winfall was no more.

Appearing on “60 Minutes Overtime” on CBS News, the couple said they retired in their early 60s and just wanted to “enjoy life.” However, things soon took an interesting turn when they started playing the lottery.

Jerry and Marge Selbee found a loophole in the lottery

The Cash Winfall had some pretty sweet rules. Basically, if the jackpot got up to $5 million and no one won it, the cash would “roll down” to winners who’d won lesser prizes. That piqued Jerry’s interest, and given his math skills, he was able to work it all out.

“If I played $1100, mathematically I’d have one four-number winner – that’s 1000 bucks. I divided 1100 by six instead of 57, because I did a mental quick dirty, and I come up with 18. So I knew I’d have either 18 or 19 three-number winners, and that’s 50 bucks each,” he explained.

“At 18, I got $1000 for a four-number winner, and I got 18 three-number winners worth $50 each, so that’s 900 bucks. So I got $1100 invested and I’ve got a $1900 return.”

As you can probably tell, the math isn’t all that simple, after all. Nevertheless, the first time Jerry tried this out, it paid off big time. He and Marge bought $3,600 worth of Winfall tickets and won $6,300. Sweet! The next time, they bought $8,000 worth of tickets and pretty much doubled it. They kept on going right up into the hundreds of thousands until the state of Michigan shut the game down.

As it turned out, however, Winfall was still available to play in Massachusetts, so that’s exactly what the Selbees did. They even got their friends and family members in on it! By 2011, everyone they know was pretty comfortable, financially speaking. In total, the couple netted about $26 million before the Boston Globe found out the Cash Winfall game was being scammed. However, they actually hadn’t done anything legally wrong at all.

The story of Jerry and Marge Selbee’s lottery win was so interesting, it even became a film starring Bryan Cranston called “Jerry & Marge Go Large.” It’s worth a watch!

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill