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How a Romanian mathematician hacked the system and won the lottery 14 times

You are four times more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery.

Those odds apparently do not apply to Stefan Mandel, a Romanian-Australian economist who’s won the lottery 14 times, The Hustle reported in a feature on the mathematician.

Mandel’s first two wins were in his native Romania, where he was trying to earn enough money to get his family out of the then-communist country. His salary was then just $88 (£67) a month.

He moved to Israel before settling down in Australia, where he won the lottery an additional 12 times.

Plenty of lottery winners end up blowing it all – spending it on huge houses and Porsches, gambling it away, or getting slammed with lawsuits. Robert Pagliarini, a certified financial planner, previously said that to prevent that, lottery winners should assemble a “financial triad” to help plan for their financial future.

“This includes an attorney, a tax person, and a financial adviser,” Mr Pagliarini said. “This financial dream team can help you make smart financial decisions and help you plan for the future. They can also help shield you from the media and from the onslaught of money requests from others.”

The key way to navigate a sudden windfall like winning the lottery, Mr Pagliarini said, is to keep calm and focus on the long term with pragmatic financial planning.

As for Mandel, he now lives a quiet life in Vanuatu, a South Pacific island country known for its volcanoes and waterfalls.

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While his scheme was legal at the time, new laws in the US and Australia render Mandel’s scheme impossible nowadays. You can no longer buy lottery tickets in bulk and print your tickets at home – two key parts of Mandel’s formula.

Here’s the 6-step formula for how Mandel managed to make serious cash from the lottery:

  1. Calculate the total number of possible combinations. (For a lottery that requires you to pick six numbers from 1 to 40, that means 3,838,380 combinations)
  2. Find lotteries where the jackpot is three times or more the number of possible combinations.
  3. Raise enough cash to pay for each combination. (Mandel rounded up 2,524 investors for his push to win the Virginia lottery)
  4. Print out millions of tickets with every combination. (This used to be legal. Now you would have to buy the tickets right from the store)
  5. Deliver the tickets to authorised lottery dealers.
  6. Win the cash. And don’t forget to pay your investors. (Mandel pocketed only $97,000 [£74,000] after a $1.3m [£1m] win in 1987)

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Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2016. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Sours: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/how-to-win-lottery-romanian-mathematician-hacked-system-stefan-mandel-a8527556.html

Stephen Mandel

This article is about the Canadian politician. For the American astronomer, see Steve Mandel. For the hedge fund manager, see Stephen Mandel (hedge fund manager).

Canadian politician

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This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(December 2019)

Stephen Mandel

2013-05-21 Stephen Mandel (cropped).jpg
In office
February 27, 2018 – June 30, 2019
Preceded byGreg Clark
Succeeded byJacquie Fenske (Interim)
In office
September 15, 2014 – May 24, 2015
PremierJim Prentice
Preceded byFred Horne
Succeeded bySarah Hoffman
In office
October 27, 2014 – May 5, 2015
Preceded byDave Hancock
Succeeded byBob Turner
In office
October 26, 2004 – October 29, 2013
Preceded byBill Smith
Succeeded byDon Iveson
In office
October 23, 2001 – October 26, 2004
Preceded byLeroy Chahley
Succeeded byLinda Sloan
Born (1945-07-18) July 18, 1945 (age 76)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Political partyAlberta Party (2018–present)
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Conservative (until 2017)
Spouse(s)Lynn Mandel
Alma materLincoln College(A.A.)
Miami University(B.S.)
University of Windsor
ProfessionBusinessman
Signature

Stephen Mandel (born July 18, 1945) is a Canadian politician and leader of the Alberta Party from 2018 to 2019. He previously served as an Alberta cabinet minister from 2014 to 2015 and as mayor of Edmonton, Alberta for three terms from 2004 to 2013. Prior to being mayor, he was a councillor for three years.

On September 15, 2014, he was made Minister of Health by premier Jim Prentice, despite not holding a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.[1] He was subsequently named as the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party's candidate in a by-election in Edmonton-Whitemud,[2] the seat formerly held by Dave Hancock, which was scheduled for October 27, 2014.[3] He won in the byelection but was subsequently defeated in the general election on May 5, 2015.

Mandel announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Alberta Party on January 10, 2018.[4] He was elected on February 27, 2018, defeating two other candidates.[5] Mandel resigned as Alberta Party leader in June, 2019.[6]

Background[edit]

Mandel received an associate of arts degree from Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois, a bachelor of science in business administration from Miami University, and his masters in political science from the University of Windsor.

He moved to Edmonton in 1972 from Windsor, Ontario.[7]

Mandel owns the Strathcona County’s Lakeland Village mobile home park.[8]

Mandel was active with promoting the city's arts and festival scene. He is also an active volunteer with the city's local Heart and Stroke Foundation and with several local Jewish organizations.

Entry into politics[edit]

Prior to being elected to city council, Mandel ran unsuccessfully for school trustee[9] He was first elected to the Edmonton City Council in 2001 as a councillor for Ward 1. In 2004, he became mayor by defeating Edmonton's three-term mayor, Bill Smith.[7] Mandel credits his successes to the hard work and spirit of cooperation of his council.[10] Mandel left office as Mayor of Edmonton on October 29, 2013.[11][12]

Mayor of Edmonton[edit]

Public Works[edit]

Mandel's city council was responsible for many infrastructural achievements: expansion of the LRT lines, the construction of a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers.[13]

After years of public consultations since 2008, the city approved a plan gradually decommission the City Centre airport by implementing the City Centre Redevelopment Plan. The City Centre Redevelopment Plan aims to mitigate urban sprawl by redeveloping the aging and costly City Centre Airport [14] into a sustainable-300 acre inner city neighbourhood anticipated to accommodate 30,000 residents.[15][16]

According to sporting organization 'SportAccord', the city has a Silver class partnership with the convention, enabling Edmonton to host many world classed events awarded during the Mandel administration.[17] The city is one of six host cities of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.[18]

Edmonton Downtown arena[edit]

Edmonton Oilers CEO Daryl Katz has entered into an agreement with the city of Edmonton to joint finance the construction of a new arena for the hockey team which the city will own. The entertainment complex, arena and plaza along with neighbourhood development, and adjacent Winter Garden LRT Station costing $35M has an estimated budget of $601 Million CAD.[19] The project will be financed between the city with a seed fund valued at $219M CAD. Katz Group will contribute $143M and invest in the neighbouring land development. The Albertan government won't fund the arena as Mandel anticipated however the provincial government inadvertently funded $170M through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative. $125M will be raised through ticket surcharges.[20][21] Before construction could commence, Mandel was challenged with securing an additional outstanding $117M to guarantee the financing loans, as the Government of Alberta would not fund the arena.

Social and Business initiatives[edit]

Responding to an upsurge of domestic spousal violence in 2006, Mandel together with the Alberta Council for Women's Shelters hosted the first 'Breakfast with guys' peace seminar aimed at curbing violence. The event inspired Edmonton's business leaders raise awareness and support among their staff and community. This initiative has since been replicated globally.[22]

To address the needs of Edmonton's Aboriginal community the city conducted the 'Edmonton Urban Aboriginal Accord Initiative Project', many important documents and agreements with Treaty 6 natives, 'as an accord between Edmonton and the Aboriginal community' were written.[23][24]

In 2011 Mandel commissioned the 'Community Sustainability Task Force', to address problems that mature Edmontonian neighborhoods faced. The organization reported on recommendations through the 'ELEVATE' report.[25][26]

Mandel negotiated with the county of Leduc to amalgamate, 15,600 Acres of land to be used to support Edmonton's anticipated growth, if approved it will be the first major growth since 1982.[27]

IBM granted 400,000 USD worth of expertise and advice to assist local experts in improving the lives of Edmontonians through the effective use of data and technology, listing the city as a 2011 Smart Cities Challenge winner.[28]

In 2012, Mandel embarked on a trade mission to meet business and municipal leaders from Asia, to assert Edmonton's place in global Energy and business trade.[29]

Events during Mayoralty[edit]

In 2013, city council approved to support the UofA as home of the Canadian Women's Basketball team, the city will grant 500,000 CAD over 4 years to develop the sport such as introducing youth to the game.[30]

The city of Edmonton and the aboriginals Treaty 6 commenced on a dialog to address the needs of Aboriginal Edmontonians. In 2005 the two parties signed with the Edmonton Urban Aboriginal Accord.[31]

Mandel started the first Mayor Pride Brunch, in 2005. The event is a fund raiser to raise money for gay pride youth Camp fYrefly. Mandel proclaimed a week in April 2013 as Transgender Awareness week to bring awareness of the challenges Transgender Edmontonians face such as violence.[32][33]

In 2006–2011 the city administration has been criticized by some members of the local press on issues relating to infrastructure maintenance.

In September 2007, Mandel ordered the removal from city property of work by Edmonton sculptor Ryan McCourt, after receiving a 700-name petition that alleged McCourt's sculptures had "hurt Hindu religious sensibilities".

Mandel created the Mayor's Evening for the Arts held at the Francis Winspear Centre, out of formerly a luncheon event to an annual festive evening gala. The event showcases the talents of Edmontonian performing artists in a grand spectacle and awards ceremony. In 2012, he celebrated the 25th Anniversary of this tradition. In 2013, Mandel created the 'Ambassador of the Arts Award' awarded at the gala. Honouring significant contributions by individuals or corporations who represented Edmonton artistically on the international or national stage.[34]

Mandel proclaimed the Edmonton Public Library's centennial anniversary to be 'Edmonton Public Library Day' issuing free library membership.[35][36]

City Charter[edit]

To address the challenges of evolving into metropolises, Mandel, together with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, negotiated a memorandum of understanding with the Alberta government. This motion will enable both mayors to work with the Alberta government to draft city charters in 2013, effectively articulating the powers and responsibilities the municipalities have to deal with unique issues of development such as taxation.[37]

Provincial Politics[edit]

Mandel was named as Minister of Health by Alberta premier Jim Prentice in the fall of 2014.[38] Two months later, he would win the seat vacated by Dave Hancock (Edmonton-Whitemud) in a by-election. He went on to serve as health minister and MLA until the defeat of the Progressive Conservatives, and the loss of his own seat to NDP candidate Bob Turner, in the 2015 election.

Mandel announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Alberta Party on January 10, 2018,[39] and was elected Leader of the Alberta Party on February 27, 2018, with 66% of the vote, succeeding Greg Clark.[40] He secured the Alberta Party’s nomination to be the candidate in Edmonton-McClung on May 12, 2018.[41]

On February 8, 2019 Mandel's name was added to an Elections Alberta list of politicians deemed Ineligible to run as candidates or serve as Chief Financial Officers in provincial elections. He was given a five year ban for having missed a deadline for filing a financial campaign return for his 2018 nomination campaign.[42] The Elections Alberta deputy chief electoral officer stated that candidates have four months from the time they are nominated to file financial campaign returns. Mandel stated that "there is confusion about the actual due dates this paperwork is due to Elections Alberta. Because the penalties for late filing are so serious, we have also applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench to review and rule on this matter as soon as possible" and "we believe we have filed within the required deadline".[41] On March 4, 2019, the 5 year ban was lifted after the Court of Queen's Bench ruled that a 5 year ban was an inappropriate penalty for a missed deadline, in this case.[43]

Electoral Results[edit]

2004 Edmonton municipal election[edit]

Candidate Votes %
Stephen Mandel85,88740.68%
Bill Smith68,767 32.57%
Robert Noce 52,640 24.93%
Tilo Paravalos 921 0.44%
Dieter Peske 905 0.43%
Dave Dowling 858 0.41%
Thomas "Buffalo Terminator" Tomilson 768 0.36%
Jean-Paul Noujaim 390 0.18%

2007 Edmonton municipal election[edit]

CandidateVotes%
Stephen Mandel98,75165.80%
Don Koziak38,02725.34%
Dave Dowling2,6901.79%
George Lam2,6471.76%
Dustin Becker2,5681.71%
Bill Whatcott1,6651.11%
Peter T. Lefaivre1,4130.94%
Robert (Bob) Ligertwood1,2350.82%
Khaled Kheireddine1,0890.73%

2010 Edmonton municipal election[edit]

CandidateVotes%
Stephen Mandel109,43255.2
David Dorward58,85629.7
Daryl Bonar20,67210.4
Dan Dromarsky4,6212.3
Dave Dowling2,2951.2
Andrew Lineker1,1310.6
Bob Ligertwood1,1290.6

Edmonton-Whitemud by-election, 2014[edit]

Alberta provincial by-election, October 27, 2014: Edmonton-Whitemud
Resignation of Dave Hancock on September 25, 2014
Party Candidate Votes%
Progressive ConservativeStephen Mandel6,00342.39-17.85
New DemocraticBob Turner3,15022.2413.24
WildroseTim Grover2,68018.922.72
LiberalDonna Wilson2,03314.352.39
Alberta PartyWill Munsey2021.43-0.92
GreenRené Malenfant950.67
Total 14,163
Rejected, spoiled and declined 141117
Eligible electors / turnout 35,795 39.36
Progressive ConservativeholdSwing-15.54

2015 Alberta general election[edit]

2018 Alberta Party leadership election[edit]

Candidate Votes Percentage
Stephen Mandel3,04666.03%
Kara Levis 838 18.17%
Rick Fraser729 15.80%
Total4,613100%

2019 general election[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^"Prentice promises ‘new way of doing things’ as smaller cabinet sworn in"Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Edmonton Journal, September 15, 2014.
  2. ^"Ministers Mandel and Dirks planning to seek election in Edmonton and Calgary". CTV Edmonton, September 24, 2014.
  3. ^"Premier Prentice to run in Calgary-Foothills in October byelection". Global News, September 29, 2014.
  4. ^http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/former-edmonton-mayor-stephen-mandel-to-run-for-alberta-party-leadership-1.4478544
  5. ^"Stephen Mandel wins Alberta Party leadership race | Globalnews.ca".
  6. ^"Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel steps down".
  7. ^ abJewish Independent, November 5, 2005 Archived October 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^"Mayor Mandel says the trailer park he owns in Sherwood Park won't flood anymore". Edmonton Sun. June 28, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  9. ^"Archives Canada". Archivescanada.ca. October 18, 2004. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  10. ^"The Morality of Politics: Sitting Down with Mayor Stephen Mandel | By Blue Knox – The Wanderer". Thewandereronline.com. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  11. ^Karstens-Smith, Breanna (October 25, 2013). "Mandel reflects on his time as Mayor". CTV News. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  12. ^Tumilty, Ryan (October 29, 2013). "Slideshow: Don Iveson promises globally competive [sic] Edmonton during swearing in ceremony". Metro News. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  13. ^"Edmonton council votes to bring back Oilers arena deal | NHL | Sports | National Post". Sports.nationalpost.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  14. ^http://ottewell.gateway.ualberta.ca/articles/opinion/2010/09/16/city-centre-airport-finally-shot-down[permanent dead link]
  15. ^Canada (July 19, 2012). "Prosperity allows Edmonton to chart a clean, green future". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  16. ^"City Centre Airport to close in phases | Edmonton | News". Edmonton Sun. July 8, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  17. ^"SportAccord".
  18. ^"Edmonton Named as Host City for Women's World Cup Canada 2015 :: City of Edmonton". Edmonton.ca. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  19. ^"Council approves funding for Edmonton arena – Journal of Commerce". Journalofcommerce.com. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  20. ^http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2013/03/08/edmonton-arena-funding-question-alberta-budget.htmlh. Retrieved April 10, 2013.[dead link]
  21. ^"Agreement for Edmonton arena passed by council". Cbc.ca. January 23, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  22. ^https://www.acws.ca/sites/default/files/documents/TakingaStandPositionDescriptionNov2010.pdf
  23. ^"Edmonton Urban Aboriginal Accord Initiative Project (2005-2006) :: City of Edmonton". Edmonton.ca. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  24. ^"Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^"About the Plan :: City of Edmonton". Gov.edmonton.ab.ca. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  26. ^"Edmonton's ELEVATE Report: What it says about Poverty Reduction". Actiontoendpovertyinalberta.org. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  27. ^Stolte, Elise (March 5, 2013). "Edmonton wants to annex 15,600 hectares of Leduc County, including airport". Edmontonjournal.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  28. ^Metro, Staff (March 9, 2011). "Edmonton wins 'Smarter Cities Challenge' | Metro". Metronews.ca. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  29. ^"Mayor Leads China Mission Promoting Edmonton's Industrial Business, Environmental Leadership :: City of Edmonton". Edmonton.ca. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  30. ^"Edmonton to be home of Canadian Women's Basketball Team". Globalnews.ca. May 8, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  31. ^http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/UrbanAboriginalAccord.pdf
  32. ^"Nenshi proclaims Trans Day of Visibility". CBC News.
  33. ^Tamara Gorzalka (June 19, 2008). "Queermonton – The first weekend of Pride". Vue Weekly (661: Cowboy Junkies). Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  34. ^Nicholls, Liz (February 11, 2013). "A new award for the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  35. ^"Edmonton Public Library waives $12 fee for cards during its centennial year". Globaltvedmonton.com. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014.[dead link]
  36. ^"Edmonton's library marks 100 years with free cards". CBC News.
  37. ^Government of Alberta (June 18, 2012). "Alberta government partners with Calgary and Edmonton to develop big city charter". Alberta.ca. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
  38. ^"Premier Jim Prentice shrinks Alberta cabinet, appoints two outsiders".
  39. ^http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4478544?
  40. ^@CBCCalgary (February 28, 2018). "Stephen Mandel chosen new leader of..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ abHeidenreich, Phil; Ramsay, Caley (February 8, 2019). "Elections Alberta gives Alberta Party leader 5-year-ban from running as candidate, Mandel plans appeal". Global News. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  42. ^"Individuals Ineligible to Run as a Candidate or Act as a Chief Financial Officer". Parties, Candidates & Contests. Elections Alberta. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  43. ^"Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel allowed to run in election, judge rules". CBC. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  44. ^"2007 Election - Official Results"(PDF). City of Edmonton. October 19, 2007. Archived from the original(PDF) on December 15, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  45. ^City of Edmonton (October 26, 2010). "2010 Election Results"(PDF). Archived from the original(PDF) on December 14, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Mandel
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Stefan Mandel: The Story Behind the 14-Time Lottery Winner

Stefan Mandel article banner

Winning the lottery is a one in a million (1 in 292,201,338 for Powerball to be exact) chance. So how in the world did Stefan Mandel, an economist from Romania, win the lottery 14 times using completely legitimate means before the era of online lottery sites?

Mandel didn't quite make our list of the biggest lottery winners of all time, however, he still won millions by doing things by the book. He just played smarter and dedicated a lot of time into his passion. The formula was simple: to buy all possible lottery combinations. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. To fully appreciate Mandel’s genius, let’s go all the way back to where it all started.

Testing Stefan Mandel's Lottery Winning Formula

Stefan Mandel grew up in communist-era Romania, where a large part of the population lived knee-deep in poverty. While there weren’t many ways one could make an honest living—at least, not outside of the law—there was a government-sanctioned lottery.

It was in the late 1950's, when Mandel was working as an economist for the Romanian mining consortium, that he first came up with the idea of beating the lottery odds. Mandel wanted to find a surefire way to win the lottery, so he brainstormed for a long time until he discovered the perfect math formula that could predict 5 out of 6 winning numbers. The lottery was, as Mandel saw it, his ticket out of the country.

Four years after successfully coming up with his formula, Mandel, together with 3 of his friends, finally put his discovery to the test. At the time, he was only aiming for a second prize win—which required matching only 5 numbers—but, to his surprise, he ended up winning the jackpot!

Their total haul? 72,783 leu, which Mandel stated was equivalent to about 18 years of his salary. Split between four people, that's not bad for his first win.

Migrating to Israel

Now that Mandel had enough money, he had the means to get out of communist Romania. Being Jewish, he set his sights on moving to Israel. However, because it was next to impossible to leave his country at the time, Mandel had to bribe foreign ministry officials for safe passage out.

For a while, he settled in his new home in Israel. But, not long after, he moved again. This time, he and his family went to Australia. It was during their time there that Mandel would concoct his biggest plan yet.

Moving to the Land Down Under

In the 1980's, Australia had a strong economy and it wasn’t particularly expensive to live in. So, it wasn’t a surprise that Mandel and his family eventually settled there and got citizenship. With his status as an Australian citizen, Mandel could now do business in British commonwealth countries, which Australia was part of at the time.

What did this mean? Simply put, his citizenship allowed him access to UK lottery system, as well as Australia's. I’m sure you already have an idea where this is going!

Note: One of our astute readers noted that the UK National Lottery didn't exist yet in the 80's, so it would have been impossible for Mandel have won the the UK Lottery then. The reader is correct, so we dug a bit deeper to get to the bottom of things.

Here's what we've gathered:

  • The UK National Lottery started in 1994, but there have been plenty of lotteries in the UK before that. Mandel had access to all of them due to his new Australian citizenship.
  • The first government-authorized lottery in the UK started way back in 1694. It was called the Million Adventure Lottery.
  • A 1934 Act, further liberalized in 1956 and 1976, made it legal for small, private lotteries to operate in the UK.
  • Mandel could have won any of these smaller lotteries in the 1980's, especially since his strategy worked best with games that had fewer possible winning combinations.

Stefan Mandel's Lottery Business

Not long after gaining citizenship, Stefan Mandel began building the foundations of what would eventually become a lottery business of sorts. Of course, he began by coming up with a new formula that would be a good fit for the UK lottery system. This strategy was much less complicated. He didn't try to predict the winning combination. Instead, he devised a way to acquire as many tickets as possible. Then, he began looking for people to participate in his plan.

Eventually, he had throngs of people purchasing and submitting tickets to numerous convenience stores around the country for him. His operation was so organized that he even had ticket receipts placed in storage religiously.

Once a winning ticket was confirmed to be among Mandel’s stash, his team would take the receipt and submit it to claim the winnings. As soon as he and his company would receive their prize, he would distribute portions of it to his investors and, of course, to his army of ticket buyers.

The Big Australian Gamble

I know what you’re thinking. An operation of this scale must be illegal, right? Surprisingly, it wasn’t! See, there weren’t any rules or laws against one man buying tickets by the boatload. At one point, Mandel even approached officials of the Australian lottery and told them of his intentions to buy every number combination.

Mandel cornered the lottery a total of 12 times while living in Australia, and each time the government enacted new rules or laws that they hoped would put a stop to Mandel’s very successful lottery operation.

At first, a law was enacted that made it illegal for one man to purchase all tickets in a lottery. Mandel responded by finding five partners. Then, another law was enacted that made it illegal for groups of individuals to purchase all tickets in a lottery draw. Again, Mandel found a workaround by creating a lotto firm.

After his 12th win (13th overall), so many laws have been passed that it became hard for him and his team to continue their lotto business without getting in trouble. Mandel eventually threw in the towel—until he decided to look to another country where he could legally continue his lotto operation, that is.

The Virginia Lottery

Stefan Mandel looked to the United States, especially because it had no laws that prevented lottery players from cornering the market yet. However, because there were so many different lotteries with varying mechanics across all states, he had to do his due diligence first.

After much research, he set his sights on Virginia. At the time, there were only 7.1 million number combinations in the Virginia lottery, not to mention the fact that the tickets were some of the cheapest around. It was a no-brainer.

Virginia State Lottery logo

At one dollar a piece, he needed to raise approximately $7.1 million to purchase all lotto combinations. Mandel managed a seemingly impossible task—he successfully got 2,500 investors from Australia onboard. With each of his investors chipping in $2,500, he now had the means to enact his plan.

But, it wasn’t until 1992, two years later—when the Virginia lottery jackpot reached $27 million—that he and his team sprang into action.

Springing into Action

One of the things that made the Virginia lottery stand out from other state lotteries during the 1990’s was that they allowed players to print out their own tickets at home. If you submitted the homemade tickets to a convenience store, you could pay for it without any problems. This was perfect for Mandel and his team.

Using laser printers that Mandel and his team used in one of their earlier lotto operations, they were able to print out all 7.1 million tickets back in Sydney. He then paid around $60,000 to have the tickets shipped to the United States. He and his team also negotiated with store owners around Virginia so they could buy tickets in bulk.

Now, all Mandel and his team had to do was to pay for the tickets at convenience stores. The problem with that was—if they were to pay in cash—they would need to haul the money in trucks to cover for everything. The solution was simple: Mandel put money in a bank and had his team use cashier checks to pay for the tickets, instead.

 

Play The Lottery Online!

Hitting a Snag

With their operation in full swing, and with so little time to purchase every ticket and have them processed, Mandel’s team worked tirelessly. But, then, convenience stores began to run out of tickets and, soon, every store stopped selling them altogether. Mandel’s team faced a huge hurdle: there were still over 1 million number combinations that haven’t been purchased yet.

But none of that mattered because, in the end, Stefan Mandel still snagged his 14th and final lottery win. The best part was that there were no other winners besides Mandel, which meant that he and his team walked away with everything.

Their haul? The $27 million jackpot, plus dozens of 2nd and 3rd prize wins, and—get this—thousands of minor wins! As for his investors, they raked in over $30 million!

The Aftermath of the 14 Time Lottery Winner

Unsurprisingly, for a brief spell, the legality of what Mandel and co. did was up for debate. At the time, the stipulations of the Virginia State Lottery stated that a ticket was only valid if a player paid for it at the terminal where they got it. So, since Mandel and his team went directly to store owners, people questioned whether their tickets were valid or not.

Kenneth Thorson Virginia State Lottery Commissioner

In fact, then Virginia State Lottery commissioner Kenneth W. Thorson thought it was suspicious when Mandel’s group won. He eventually authorized the release of the prize after thoroughly investigating how Mandel’s team had operated and saw that everything they did was by the book.

Amusingly, while Thorson commended Mandel and his team for their dedication and perseverance in an interview, he said that he hoped they would never come back. The commissioner got his wish—it was Mandel’s final lottery stunt in the US.

The Last Hurrah and Stefan Mandel's Net Worth

While Mandel's story has become world-renowned, there is still no evidence to support what his actual net worth is. Considering a group of his investors banked $30M we have to imagine that he's going to be living a comfortable life from here on out though.

Can You Replicate Mandel's Strategy?

According to Alex Goldmark, the supervising producer of NPR’s Planet Money podcast, replicating Mandel’s strategy wouldn’t work today. There’s just too many hurdles one must overcome for it to be feasible. Even with the ability to play the lottery and purchase tickets from anywhere in the world, it's extremely difficult with current lotteries.

For one thing, the number of possible combinations have become far greater since Mandel’s final stunt. US state lotteries like the Oregon Megabucks, for example, give you a 1 in 6,135,756 chance of hitting the jackpot. The odds get even longer for regional or national multi-state lottery games like the US Powerball and Mega Millions.

Then there’s the fact that you can’t print your own tickets anymore, nor will you be able to buy all of the tickets in time, not to mention figuring out the perfect formula the way Mandel did. Logistically speaking, it’s nigh impossible to pull off the same trick today.

In other words, you’ll have to play the lottery the good old fashioned way—unless, of course, you manage to come up with a plan that will top Mandel’s. But then you would probably would be enjoying the sun on an island in the South Pacific instead of reading this article, right?

[Update: This article was updated with additional information provided by Stefan Mandel's attorney on June 3rd, 2021]

 

Sours: https://www.lotterycritic.com/lottery-winners/stefan-mandel-14-time-lottery-winner/
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