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Economist Hacked and Won Lottery 10 Times Using ‘Simple Math,’ Only to File for Bankruptcy Later

The economist had invented a system that could hack lotteries around the world and won thousands of dollars over the years using it. 
PUBLISHED MAY 31, 2024
Cover Image Source: A man selects numbers for his Big Game lottery | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle
Cover Image Source: A man selects numbers for his Big Game lottery | Getty Images | Photo by Tim Boyle

Winning a lottery is a once-in-a-lifetime affair but this man won more than 10 times. Steven Mandel has hacked into the system to make the impossible possible. However, his hacks could not stand the test of time as they landed him in bankruptcy. Stefan Mandel, a Romanian economist, had originally made a system that could hack lotteries worldwide, making him win thousands of dollars. Using the hacking process, which he called 'simple math,' he created a 'number picking algorithm' and in select circumstances showed a lottery ticket for every single outcome of a draw before delivering the tickets to authorized lottery dealers. This way, he had almost all the tickets which made him win.



All things come to an end, and this too, ended when he faced some issues with the method. The first issue was that he was simply failing to purchase all the tickets and soon started asking syndicates who could purchase more tickets together, which would increase their chances.

Mandel later fled his country for Israel and then moved to Melbourne, Australia with his wife and two children. There, he set up another workshop and started printing seven million tickets over three months as he and his syndicate won 14 lotteries across the world, including some in the USA.

He also set up scouts that would scour for state lotteries with attractive jackpots. He later set up his own official company called Pacific Financial Resources and a trust named the International Lotto Fund - which employed the help of investors, via LADbible.

By the 1990s, the organization advanced computer-generated tickets and bulk purchasing, which led to its downfall. Mandel was later brought into a lengthy legal battle, which finally he won, despite facing financial trouble. By then, he had already pocketed millions. However, his investors were left with less money than they expected. This led him to file for bankruptcy in 1995.



"I’m a man who takes risks, but in a calculated way," Mandel told Romanian newspaper Bursa in 2012. "Trimming my beard is a lottery: There is always the possibility that I’ll cut myself, get an infection in my blood, and die — but I do it anyway. The chances are in my favor."

Today, he lives on a tropical island called Vanuatu, known for its waterfalls and volcanoes, along with many from his former syndicate group, as reported by the NY Post. “This includes an attorney, a tax person, and a financial adviser,” Robert Pagliarini, a certified financial planner told The Independent. “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 the onslaught of money requests from others," he added.

Cover Image Source: Illinois Lottery | Scott Olson | Getty Images
Illinois Lottery | Scott Olson | Getty Images

While the schemes Mandel used were legal back in time, the new law in the U.S. and Australia no longer allow anybody to pull this off.

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