Stefan Mandel is a trendy name in the jackpot gaming industry. He was the only man recorded in history to have won the 14 massive jackpots by not his luck but sheer mathematics calculation. He is the man who defied luck in a game of chance and made himself a guaranteed winner. In the year 1992, Stefan Mandel achieved something which every lottery player in the world dreamt of. He won Virginia’s $27 million jackpot by purchasing every single combination of the possible winning numbers.
In an interview with NPR’s Planet Money producer Alex Goldmark Stefan said, “I knew I was going to win the first prize, six-second awards, 132 third prizes, and thousands of minor prizes.” This was his last lottery win before he was prohibited from participating in lotteries. It was his 14th lottery win along with the biggest jackpot he had ever won.
According to Stefan, he felt lottery was the only way that he was sure of making some quick and good money. He said, “The lottery was the only way I could get some serious money quickly.” So, he had a different approach to the gaming industry. Many people saw it as a game of luck; he believed it to be the perfect business model that would bring him sure cash. To make it a successful business, he did diligent research with a lot of patience. Goldmark believes that he is a great math whiz; he quoted “He doesn’t just go out and buy random tickets. He’s a pretty natural math whiz.”
Every time Stephan went to the library he started reading about maths, even today also he does the same. After going through several math papers, he deduced a winning formula. Now to find out if the formula is worthy or not he bought a block of tickets depending on his calculations that he thought would guarantee a winning prize. His formula clicked, and he earned sufficient money to move and settle in Australia with his family. Stories of his accurate mathematical calculations travelled far, and he landed himself quickly with many investors and also perfected his system. What started as a ticket out in Romania in the 1950s, turned into a life-changing lucrative business for him.
Stefan stole the jackpot 12 times in Australia from the lives of hopeful punters as the Grinch stole the Christmas. Seeing his abilities to control his fate and everyone else participating the lottery Australia had to implement laws that wouldn’t let Stephan anywhere near the lottery industry. Being a lottery outcast, he had to look for a different place to run his business, so that was when he shifted to Virginia. Fortunately for him, The Virginia Lottery came into existence in 1992.
At that moment, there were total 7.1 million combinations of lottery tickets sold in Virginia as it was its inaugural year. Stefan calculated his way out to ensure his profit before buying each combination of the numbers because to buy all the possible winning tickets he needed an investment too. However, the jackpot was of $27 million he chalked out all the pros and cons for three months. Goldmark stated, “They printed out all 7.1 million tickets in Australia, paid $60,000 to ship them to the US.” They negotiated bulk buys with grocery stores all around Virginia about how they could send cashier’s checks to purchase tens of thousands of lottery tickets.
When the final day arrived, and the whole of Virginia was excited about the draw but not Stefan. He was laid back and relaxed because logically no possible way would make him miss the jackpot. Stefan was sure of scooping something big, and he took home the first prize, along with several second and third prizes, and “thousands of minor prizes. Currently, he resides on a tropical island in the South Pacific.
Unfortunately, Stefan too had to step down because of the growing numbers of the combination tickets that it would make impossible for anyone to derive a formula to determine all the possible winning combos.