# How this mathematician won the lottery 14 times with genius scheme

3 July 2023, 14:14 | Updated: 11 July 2023, 13:34

By Alice Dear

The mathematician used his intellect to break the system and ended up winning the lottery 14 times – but his scheme is now no longer legal.

While it may be hard to believe, Romanian-Australian mathematician Stefan Mandel, 82, has won the lottery 14 times in his life.

Using a scheme, which was completely legal at the time of use, Mandel used his intellect to prove that – for him at least – he was not four times more likely to be struck by lightening that to win the lottery.

In a report by The Hustle, they explain that Mandel won his first lottery in his homeland of Romania, followed by 12 wins in Australia and one in the US.

The mathematician created a scheme that was legal at the time, however, since then the rules of the lottery have changed in the US and Australia, making his scheme impossible to recreate.

Mandel's scheme also included using investors which, once he had reimbursed, left him with a less-impressive amount on money than the jackpot wins.

For example, in 1987 when Mandel won the lottery, he only pocketed \$97,000 of the \$1.3million he had won.

So, what was his scheme? Take a look.

1. First, he calculated the total number of possible combinations winning combinations for the lottery. For example, a lottery which requires you to pick six numbers between 1 and 40, you have 3,838,380 possible combinations.
2. He then found lotteries where the jackpot was three times or more the number of possible combinations.
3. Next, he would raise enough money to pay for a ticket for each combination. There were 2,560 members in the syndicate.
4. He would then print out the millions of tickets with every combination. This step, while legal at the time, is now no longer allowed.
5. Mandel would then deliver the tickets to authorised lottery dealers.
6. Having purchased a ticket for every possible combination, he would then win the lottery.
7. Next, it is time for him to pay back his investors!

Having retired from winning the lottery, Mandel now lives a quiet life in Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation consisting of 83 islands, of which only 25 are inhabited.