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Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Economy |

MIT students calculated formula for winning the lottery

MIT students calculated formula for winning the lottery

(Cc) amalthya

About U.S. $8 million hit to win a group of former students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through a mathematical trick to win the state lottery, until they were discovered.

Some years ago while doing a task for a class, a group of students realized that for a few days every three months, “Cash Winfall” Massachusetts was the easiest bet to win a guaranteed because of the way the prize is divided if there was one big winner.

Unlike other lottery games, the Jackpot Cash Winfall was limited in the $2 million. If no one won when it came to that amount, the amount was redistributed into the jackpot, which ended inflated between 5 and 10 times its normal size. Hitting 5 of 6 numbers Cash Winfall normally produce a top prize of $4,000, however, if it happened this distribution could be obtained USD $40,000.

Students realized that if they spent U.S. $600,000 in tickets, had an excellent chance to win between 15% and 20% more than they spent. So, whenever Cash Winfall reached the $2 million, the group went to the shops to buy all the tickets possible.

The first tests were made in 2005, dividing the money among those involved. The matter was so successful that later formed a company called Random Strategies Investments, dedicated to bet between $17 million and $18 million in lottery tickets for a period of seven years. Others tried to imitate at MIT, but this group was the most successful.

Cash Winfall’s vulnerability became evident in 2010 when the students found a way to make almost all $2 million prize at once, something that people thought the lottery was impossible. The group accumulated 700,000 lottery tickets – more than 80% of tickets issued, and then swapped 860 of the 983 winning tickets.

The funny thing is that the Massachusetts Lottery was aware of the strategy used by students, since the organization was to approve extra tickets sales of the stores where purchased MIT students. However, did nothing to warn about the situation or end the exploitation carried out by this group.

In fact, the strategy employed by students is not illegal. After hearing all this, however, the state treasurer suspended the game. Also limited the number of tickets you can sell a store.

Link: Inspector General says lottery gambling syndicates allowed to take over Winfall game (Boston Globe)

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