How MIT Students Won $8 Million in the Massachusetts Lottery

NewsFeed

Maybe Uncle Ben was right: With great power comes great responsibility. While most students at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology use their powers for good — for example, creating drugs that can fight any virus — others are busily using their prodigious math skills to game the state of Massachusetts’ lottery system, earning millions of dollars in the process.

Several years ago, while doing research for a school project, a group of MIT students realized that, for a few days every three months or so, the most reliably lucrative lottery game in the country was Massachusetts’ Cash WinFall, because of a quirk in the way a jackpot was broken down into smaller prizes if there was no big winner. The math whizzes quickly discovered that buying about $100,000 in Cash WinFall tickets on those days would virtually guarantee success. Buying $600,000 worth of tickets would bring a 15%–20% return…

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