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07th Jan 2024

Couple won $26 million on lottery after working out ‘loophole’ in just three minutes

Nina McLaughlin


An American couple have spoken out after winning $26 million on the lottery.

As much as we all think the lottery can just be luck, for some, there is a theory around their entries. However, Jerry and Marge Selbee from Evart, Michigan, found a ‘loophole’ which helped them beat the system to win even big money on the lottery.

The duo had entered the Cash Winfall, which was based in Michigan.

In the game, if the jackpot reached $5 million and no one matched all 6 numbers, the cash would then come down to the winners of the lower tiers.

However, Jerry, who has confessed that he is good at maths, realised there was a way to win cash methodically.

American couple won $26 million on the lottery after working out a ‘loophole’ in just three minutes.

“If I played $1100, mathematically I’d have one four-number winner – that’s 1000 bucks,” he said.

“I divided 1100 by six instead of 57, because I did a mental quick dirty, and I came 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.”

If that sounds like double Dutch to you, then don’t worry because Cash Winfall has since been pulled after authorities realised the loophole existed.

However, for Marge and Jerry, this realisation meant they could exploit the lottery.

In their first go, they bought $3600 worth of tickets, which translated to $6,300 after they won.

Next time round, they bought $8000 worth of tickets, and once again doubled their investment.

“It is actually just basic arithmetic,” Jerry said.

“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.”

The Selbees even got their friends and family involved in the game.

When the Winfall closed down in Michigan, the Selbees played the Lottery in Massachusetts instead.

By 2011, however, the Boston Globe had cottoned onto the trick, and the Winfall closed down in 2012.

By then, though, the Selbees were sweet as they had already profited off their clever mathematics.

(This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.)

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