- Gamblers virtually took over Massachusetts Cash WinFall lottery, officials admit
- Statisticians, including biomedical researcher and MIT students, calculated a system to guarantee wins
- Group waited until unclaimed jackpot reached $2m – then snapped up hundreds of thousands of tickets
A group of science and mathematical whizzes outwitted a state lottery and netted $8million after discovering a loophole in the system.
Officials at the Massachusetts state lottery knew one of their games had essentially been taken over by the group of highly-intelligent gamblers but did nothing because their syndicate generated $16million.
The group, which included a biomedical researcher and MIT undergraduates who were ‘looking for an interesting school project’, bought more than $40million of tickets but won approximately $48million – an $8million profit.
Statisticians calculated that, during brief periods when the unclaimed jackpot total reached $2million, players buying $100,000 worth of tickets would almost certainly win.
And their gamble paid off. Using these small windows of opportunity, the group bought as many tickets as they could, using a loophole in which lottery officials failed to limit the amount that could be sold in one day.
During these high payout intervals, the gambling syndicates won most of the lottery’s prizes.