Man Uses Loophole To Win Lottery 14 Times, But Then It Backfires On Him

Photo: Getty Images

Most people can only dream of winning the lottery, so it is crazy to hear of lucky folks who have hit jackpots not just once, but multiple times. Well Stefan Mandel is one of those people, winning a whopping 14 times, but for him, luck didn't have much to do with it. That's because Mandel found a way to beat the system, a legal loophole he exploited to make millions of dollars, only to have it all backfire and crash down on him.

Born in Romania, Mandel grew tired of making the equivalent of $88 a month, so he worked out a system that would see him play, and win, the lottery. It worked, and he quickly made $3,000 - enough to leave the country. He went to Australia, where his system also worked, scoring him a dozen more lottery wins.

So what was his secret? Mandel looked for lotteries that had jackpots for more than the amount it would take to buy a ticket for every number combination. He'd hire a team, print millions of lottery tickets and then be assured a big win, and at the time, it was all legal, but it didn't take long for officials in Australia to catch on and ban ticket buying in bulk.

That's when Mandel set his sights on America, noticing that in Virginia, the lottery had players pick six out numbers of just 44, as opposed to other states, which had 54 numbers. When the jackpot reached $27 million, Stefan set his staff of 16 people out to get a ticket for every combination. After spending $7 million, they were only able to do 90% of the numbers due to a store stopping them from buying more, but luck was on their side and one of their tickets had the winning numbers.

However, luck can be finicky, as it was with Mandel. Lotto officials got wise to his strategy and sued him. The four-year long legal battle that followed cost Mandel all his winnings. He was cleared of any wrongdoing but the financial burden was so heavy that he had to declare bankruptcy. His lottery system was also banned in the U.S.

These days, he is living on the remote tropical island of Vanuatu off the coast of Australia. He's retired from playing the lottery.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content