Retired couple ‘crack code to winning the lottery’ – and say it’s netted £23m

A couple has claimed that they have cracked the ultimate prize-winning code – and bagged £23million in lottery winnings.

For nine years Jerry and Merge Selbee have been winning jackpot after jackpot on a United States-based lottery game.

Using a rarely known legal loophole they claim to have discovered in 2003, the retired couple have been taking advantage of it ever since.

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According to the New York Post, the couple have been raking it in on the Winfall game, by working out when buying multiple tickets in one go would pay off.

As their story has been turned into a film called Jerry and Marge Go Large – which came out in the United States in June – the experts at The Cinemaholic have explained exactly how it was done.

They said: “Each ticket of Winfall cost $1 and a player could pick six numbers between 1 and 49 with one ticket.

“If the six numbers Michigan Lottery drew were the same six numbers a player picked, the individual would win a jackpot of at least $2million or higher.

“If the player guessed five, four, three, or two of the six numbers, lesser prizes were awarded.”

Jerry, who will be played by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston in the new film, used basic maths skills to figure out how to make sure he made a profit when the prizes were at their highest.

Pay attention, as this gets a little confusing.

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In his own words, Jerry said: “If I played $1,100 mathematically I’d have one four-number winner, that’s 1,000 bucks.

“I divided 1,100 by six instead of 57 because I did a mental quick dirty and I come up with 18.

“So I knew I’d have either 18 or 19 three-number winners and that’s 50 bucks each.

“At 18 I got $1,000 for a four-number winner, and I got 18 three-number winners worth $50 each, so that’s 900 bucks.

“So I got $1,100 invested and I’ve got a $1,900 return.”

Disaster stuck, however, in 2005 when Winfall was discontinued in Michigan where the couple lived.

However, the found an almost identical game in Massachusetts, so they travelled there and found that they could win bigger due to a £1.5 million ($2 million) winning cap.

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They also found that a 92.8% chance of nobody getting big winnings there existed.

Jerry added: “Our first play was $80,000 with 40,000 tickets, and our last play was $712,000 with 366,000 tickets.

“We did spend 11 to 14 nights at the motel in South Deerfield and it was something we looked forward to.

“It was something different and it was profitable and it was able to help our family and help our friends out with a little financial boost.”

Despite their incredible winnings, the retired couple never really splashed the cash and live in the same they've lived in for many years.

Jerry and Marge Go Large, starring Cranston and Annette Bening, is available to watch on Paramount+.

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