Is There a Secret Formula to Winning the Lottery?

Do you ever wonder if there is a secret to winning the lottery? Have you heard the stories of Stefan Mandel and Richard Lustig—two repeat jackpot winners—and assumed that they must have a lottery winning formula? Is it possible to copy their lottery strategies so that you can win the lottery again and again?

We’re sorry to disappoint you but there is no guaranteed method of ensuring lottery wins! After all, the numbers are drawn randomly, and no one can claim to know them in advance. Even psychics don't have foreknowledge of the winning numbers before a draw takes place.

That said, there are some people who manage to win prize after prize in lottery draws. What do these repeat winners do differently? Do they know any tricks of the trade to improve their odds of winning?

Let’s consider some well-known cases of lottery players who have a track record of frequent wins. Have they discovered the lottery’s secret formula? Read their stories to find out.

Can Stefan Mandel's Method Guarantee a Lottery Win?

Economist Stefan Mandel was trying to find a way to get his family out of then-communist Romania when he came up with a plan to win the lottery. He determined that if he bought tickets with certain blocks of numbers, he could guarantee a second-place win. Two friends went in with him and the small group won 72,783 Romanian leu, an amount equivalent at the time to about 18 years of salary.

Mandel moved to Israel before settling in Australia. There he perfected a plan to buy every single number combination in a lottery draw, guaranteeing a jackpot win. He found investors to join him on the scheme and during the 1980s, his syndicate won 12 times.

Mandel set his sights on the Virginia Lottery, with its small guess range. He raised millions from investors and when the Virginia Lottery's jackpot hit $27 million on 12 February 1992, Mandel's syndicate used computers and laser printers to produce tickets with every number combination. The group shipped the tickets to Virginia and over 5 million were processed in time for the draw.

Mandel's International Lotto Fund syndicate won the jackpot and $900,000 in secondary prizes. His win was so controversial that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the FBI investigated. It turned out that everything Mandel did was perfectly legal, and the group collected the winnings.

Since that time, laws have been enacted in the United States preventing the possible purchase of every possible number combination in a lottery draw.

Mandel tried to start his own lottery in 1993, went bankrupt in 1995, and was convicted of fraud in Israel in 2003. Today he lives on a remote tropical island in Vanuatu where he says he has "retired" from the lottery.

At theLotter, you won't be able to buy every single ticket in a lottery draw, but maybe you will still get lucky when you play Powerball or one of the other lotteries from around the world available on our site.

Does Richard Lustig's Book Offer a Winning Lottery Method?

With seven big lottery wins and dozens of smaller prizes under his belt, Richard Lustig claimed to have developed a method for increasing one's chances of winning the lottery. “Luck has nothing to do with it,” he said.

Lustig won $10,000 on a scratchcard ticket in 1993 but bigger wins would follow. In January 2002 he won $842,151 playing Florida Mega Money; in November 2008 he won $73,658 playing Florida Fantasy 5; and in August 2010 he won $98,992, again playing Fantasy 5.

The 7-time lottery winner published a book about his personal lottery gaming strategies called Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery, which was ranked #3 on Amazon's self-help book list in 2013. In the book, Lustig detailed his “winning lottery method.”

“I don't guarantee or make promises to anybody that by following my method you're going to win the lottery,” Lustig said in an ABC News report following his impressive winning streak. “I'm not a scam artist. I'm telling people exactly the truth -- that they will definitely increase their chances of winning” using his lottery method.

Lustig told readers to avoid Quick-Pick computer-generated number selection and recommended using the same numbers repeatedly, until they won a prize.

One of Lustig's other key strategies is reinvesting winnings towards the next win. In other words, the more tickets, the higher your odds of winning. “It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the more you play the better chances you have of winning,” Lustig said.

Although his book may have sold quite a few copies, it certainly didn’t guarantee winnings to those who bought it. Lustig has since died but you can take a chance at winning the lottery by playing Mega Millions or one of our other exciting lotteries!

Can You Hack the Lottery Odds with Math?

Marge and Jerry Selbee from Michigan “figured out how to hack the odds in a certain type of lottery,” reported in March 2008. Over a nine-year period, the Selbees’ “estimated total lottery haul was almost $27 million.”

The couple played Winfall in Michigan and later Cash Winfall in Massachusetts, two lottery draw games with something in common. When their jackpots reached a certain amount, and there was no winner in a draw, the jackpot prize money rolled down and was distributed to winners in the next highest prize category. Knowing in advance when the jackpot would reach that specific amount determined the optimal time to play the lottery and buying a large quantity of tickets in that draw significantly increased the odds of winning prizes.

“A roll-down happened every six weeks or so, and it was a big deal, announced by the Michigan Lottery ahead of time as a marketing hook, a way to bring bettors into the game, and sure enough, players increased their bets on roll-down weeks, hoping to snag a piece of the jackpot,” according to an article on Huffpost. What Selbee realized, “doing some mental arithmetic, was that a player who waited until the roll-down stood to win more than he lost, on average, as long as no player that week picked all six numbers.”

To make their system work, the Selbees needed to go to stores in person and stand for hours in front of the machines printing out the massive amount of tickets they purchased. And then they had to save the tickets, check for winners, and claim their prizes. Over the years, they would buy hundreds of thousands of tickets every roll-down week.

The Selbees were not the only ones who discovered this “mathematical loophole” in lottery rules. A group of students from MIT had also figured out the odds, formed an organization, attracted investors, and started making millions, according to reports in The Atlantic Not only that, the MIT group found a way to force a roll-down of the jackpot money even before the state lottery had a chance to announce that it would happen, according to a report in the Boston Globe. This was possible due to faults in the lottery's rules at the time.

After the Boston Globe reported on the high-volume lottery purchases, the Massachusetts Inspector General reviewed the Lottery's Cash WinFall game. He concluded that while the Lottery failed to establish proper rules to manage high-volume betting, it actually profited and encouraged the practice because it provided a financial benefit to the state. The game was discontinued in January 2012.

As mentioned above, lotteries have changed their rules to ensure that all games are based entirely on luck. The methods described here would certainly not work today when playing the lottery. There's no need to stand in line to buy your tickets when you play the lottery online at theLotter!

Is It Possible to Crack the Lottery Code?

Lottery winning formula

A lottery winner rumoured to have a secret lottery winning formula is Joan Ginther, a Stanford PHD in Statistics and mathematics professor from Texas who won four huge lottery prizes worth over $20 million in total. Ginther’s first win was a Lotto Texas jackpot prize of $5.4 million in 1993 but her other big wins came from Texas Lottery scratch games in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

In an article published in Harper's in 2011, Nathaniel Rich speculated that Ginther might have deciphered the algorithm, or a set of mathematical rules, for how major prizes are seeded in each game, perhaps by analysing hundreds of tickets.

Apparently, Ginther improved her odds of winning by buying massive quantities of tickets. According to media reports, she purchased her scratchcards at times when the games’ biggest prizes had yet to be awarded, increasing the likelihood that the tickets she purchased would be winners.

Some say Ginther’s problem-solving skills helped her crack the lottery code while others consider her the luckiest lottery player in the world. Did math help her win, or was it just plain lottery luck? Ginther doesn't talk to the media so it looks like we will never know.

So, Is There a Lottery Winning Formula?

The stories presented here prove that there is no secret method to winning the lottery. There is no lottery winning formula. The stories instead show that some players have taken advantage of lottery rules and loopholes. They have purchased huge quantities of tickets to improve their odds of winning, a tactic that is totally legal, but somewhat impractical.

Purchasing huge quantities of lottery tickets is not something most of us can afford. At theLotter, we encourage you to play the lottery responsibly. Even without any guarantees of winning, you can still have fun playing the lottery online! Good luck!