Retired Couple Used Math To Crack Lottery Code And Win $26 Million


Today, we will be examining the remarkable account of the retired couple who employed mathematical strategies to decipher the lottery code, resulting in a win of $26 million.

It is worth noting that in most cases, your likelihood of being struck by lightning is higher than your chances of winning the lottery.

According to statistics, the probability of winning the Powerball jackpot by correctly matching all the numbers with the white and red balls is 1 in 292 million.


Jerry and Marge Selbee, who lived in Evart, Michigan, uncovered a clever approach to overcome these odds by using what they called "basic arithmetic."

It should be noted that their success was limited to a specific game called Cash Winfall, which has since been discontinued after authorities discovered individuals were taking advantage of it for easy money.

Therefore, it is advisable not to quit your jobs just yet.


Nonetheless, the Selbees were able to exploit the loophole, resulting in multiple legitimate wins that amounted to a total of $26 million in earnings.

Their tale is quite remarkable, considering they had retired in their early 60s with no plans other than to relax and "enjoy life," as they stated in an episode of CBS News' 60 Minutes Overtime.

In the game Cash Winfall, if no one correctly matched all six numbers and the jackpot reached $5 million, the money would "roll down" to the winners of the lower-tier prizes.


Given that Jerry has always had what he refers to as a "head for math," with a bachelor's degree in the field, it took only a few minutes for him to realize that this was a distinctive game.

Even though he explained his strategy in great detail, one would require significant mathematical proficiency to comprehend his approach fully.

See what you think: "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."

"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."

Wow! Even if you didn't grasp all the technicalities, it's evident that earning an $800 profit on an investment of $1100 is quite impressive.


He then got $3,600 worth of Winfall tickets, and this time, he made $6,300.


Subsequently, he purchased $8,000 worth of tickets and almost doubled his investment. This pattern persisted, and in due course, they began playing with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They even enlisted the help of their children and close friends, but unfortunately, the Winfall game came to an end in Michigan.

Nevertheless, they persisted in profiting by playing the game in Massachusetts, where it was still available.


"It is actually just basic arithmetic," added Jerry. "It gave you the satisfaction of being successful at something that was worthwhile to not only us personally but to our friends and our family."

Eventually, their scheme was exposed after the Boston Globe received a tip that the lottery game was being exploited, resulting in the Massachusetts Lottery shutting it down.

However, by 2011, the Selbees and their loved ones had already amassed a fortune.


Although an investigation was launched into the matter, authorities quickly realized that the couple hadn't committed any crimes at all—they had simply identified a loophole.

Their narrative is so remarkable that it was adapted into a feature film titled Jerry & Marge Go Large, starring Bryan Cranston, which was released last year.

If you are interested in witnessing the improbable tale unravel on the silver screen, the film is now streaming on Paramount Plus.