Jerry Selbee

Marge and Jerry Selbee: How They Used a Lottery Loophole to Win

Usually, lottery luck chooses its winners randomly, but with certain factors in place, logic, and mathematics can be key to a win. Jerry Selbee, a lottery winner who became famous because of his unique lottery strategy, developed it with Marge, his wife. Their approach helped them win $26 million cumulatively.

We’ll share the story of Marge and Jerry Selbee, exploring how their strategy challenged the notion that lottery winners are purely lucky. We will also explain the principles of Jerry’s strategy and give some hints about how and in which lottery games you can get prizes following his method.

Marge and Jerry Selbee

Source: CBS News

Who are Marge and Jerry Selbee?

Jerry and Marge Selbee are a common, yet unique, Midwestern couple. Jerry’s mathematical ingenuity and Marge’s dedicated assistance helped them find a way to a lottery success story.

Jerry Selbee was born in 1939. While at school, his dyslexia made it challenging for Jerry to read and understand texts. However, he had an aptitude for mathematics and managed to enter Western Michigan University, where he got a bachelor’s degree in math. Aside from that, WMU was the place where he met Marge, his wife, who became Jerry’s sidekick in their 9-year lottery journey.

For a long time, Jerry worked as a materials expert at Kellogg’s plant. Later, the couple moved to Evart, Michigan, and opened a corner store there. While Marge did the bookkeeping and handled tasks like making sandwiches, Jerry took responsibility for products like cigarettes and liquor. In their early 60s, the Selbees decided to retire.

Then, in 2003, Jerry saw a brochure promoting Winfall, a new lottery in Michigan. With his mathematical skills, it took just a few minutes for him to understand the lottery mechanics and he found that it had a loophole, which could provide him with an extremely high chance of winning.

He tried it out and the mathematical genius’ theory turned out to be correct. During the first few tries, Selbee won a few thousand dollars, making a substantial profit, even though his strategy required him to buy a high number of tickets.

After letting his wife in on his secret, Jerry and Marge spent countless hours purchasing and sorting through thousands of Winfall lottery tickets. Over time, they made millions in profit. After its discontinuation in 2005, the couple discovered Cash Windfall, a game with the same structure, in Massachusetts. So, they could continue their winning streak.

Their increasing winnings prompted them to establish GS Investment Strategies LLC. They encouraged their friends and relatives to participate as a group of gamblers playing the lottery, each making certain contributions and split payouts. The Selbees and their partners had won a few dozen million dollars by the time both lotteries shut down in 2012. All participants in GS Investment Strategies received appropriate payouts, and Jerry Selbee’s lottery math became another legend in the lottery world.

How Much Money Did Jerry and Marge Win in the Lottery?

The Midwestern mathematical genius has never admitted what his total lottery gains have been, only stating they were “over a million”. At the same time, he assures that GS Investment Strategies’ cumulative winnings were around $26 million, which was shared among the participants. Still, as experts estimate, Jerry Selbee’s net worth is probably close to $7.75 million.

Before diving deep into how he won so much money, let’s first understand the basic principles that differentiate Jerry Selbee’s lottery strategy from other players.

AspectSelbee’s StrategyCommon Lottery Playing Methods
Ticket SelectionThe strategic combination of numbers and mathematical analysis of past results is the foundationNumbers selected at random or as favorites
Game SelectionFocus on games that have a roll-down jackpot optionA random choice or a focus on the most promising jackpot games
Frequency of PlayPlay every two to six weeks – when the roll-down appliesOccasional ticket purchases, often with no specific plan or routine associated
Financial InvestmentCalculated installments based on chances of winning and potential returnsVaried investments that don’t imply a certain strategy
Analysis ApproachMathematical approach to studying lottery tendenciesLuck or intuition as the key gambling factors

How Math Skills and a Lottery Loophole Turned Jerry Selbee Into a Millionaire

It was a matter of perseverance, ingenuity, and true mathematical prowess that led to lottery success in Jerry’s case. His insight showed him that only Winfall and then Cash Winfall were perfect fits for implementing his strategy.

Both games required players to match six drawn numbers to win the main prize and employed the same roll-down jackpot accumulation principle. If none of the players hit the top prize, it kept growing until it reached the game’s cap:

  • $5 million for Winfall
  • $2 million for Cash Winfall

Lower-tier winners who matched the next biggest set of numbers received the jackpot if it remained unclaimed.

Following the law of averages, Jerry calculated that the roll-down weeks provided the best possible winning chances if a player made numerous bets on various lottery combinations. That is why Jerry and Marge purchased hundreds of tickets for specific draws. And the ROI was impressive, as they won almost every time they played, usually earning a lot more in prize money than they spent on buying tickets.

When GS Investment Strategies started, the Selbees’ investment became bigger. For the first group draw, they purchased 60,000 tickets, which resulted in a 45% overall profit. One of the most successful plays was when they invested $515,000 and got back $853,000, earning about a 60% return. Typically, Jerry and his partners invested over $600,000 per draw, participating in seven plays each year.

Jerry and Marge Selbee have never been enthusiastic about winning a jackpot. Instead, they favored the so-called small ball strategy, which involves winning small and even minor prizes on numerous tickets. This approach has proven to be highly effective.

Did Marge and Jerry Selbee Face Any Challenges or Setbacks in Their Lottery Journey?

No strategy can be 100% flawless; Jerry Selbee’s lottery playing history was not without a misfire, either. In 2008, an occasional hit of the Cash Winfall jackpot preempted the roll-down, eliminating their lottery session.

In addition, Jerry and his GS Investment Strategies crew faced rivalry with Dr. Ying Zhang, who built his own system of winning the lottery in 2003, and Random Strategies Investments LLC, created by collegiate duo James Harvey and Yuran Lu of MIT. In 2010, MIT’s group bought plenty of Cash Winfall tickets, pushing the top prize to $2 million and triggering an unexpected roll-down. This was how they monopolized the lottery winnings of the draw they participated in. After revealing this dubious strategy, the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission shut down the game in 2012.

Key Factors Behind the Strategy’s Effectiveness

Besides Jerry’s math skills, other factors had a strong impact on Selbee’s lottery success:

  • Engagement – when developing their strategy, the couple never let greed drive them; Jerry concentrated on applying mathematical principles rather than big wins.
  • Persistence – for years, Selbee traveled nearly 900 miles to Massachusetts and back to buy thousands of tickets and place bets, trying to cover as many numbers as possible.
  • Perseverance and confidence in strategy – the lottery became a hobby for Marge and Jerry, and they had a systematic approach of buying and then checking piles of tickets.
  • Support and teamwork – the joint efforts, devotion, and substantial budget led to mastering the specific lotteries and winning significant amounts in prize money.

Where Are Marge and Jerry Selbee Now?

With several million in their pockets, Jerry and Marge could go anywhere and get whatever they wanted. However, they preferred to stay in Evart, living the same quiet life, enjoying each other, and visiting friends. Jerry notes that they allocated a portion of their substantial wealth towards providing education and a home for their children and grandchildren.

How to Use Marge and Jerry Selbee’s Approach to Win a Jackpot

Although the Selbees play occasionally and mostly for fun these days, their approach is still viable, and you can try it yourself, along with other effective lottery strategiesIn this case, it is a good idea to consider the following points:

  1. Find the right game—Jerry Selbee’s lottery strategy turned out to be suitable only for games with a jackpot roll-down; despite the fact that many operators closed the loophole, there are still some games that keep to this principle.
  2. Explore the game in depth —such an approach allows for a deeper understanding of the main principles and patterns, guiding the development of your strategy or lottery prediction algorithm based on mathematical principles.
  3. To achieve your goal, be persistent—play systematically and stick to your method of picking lottery numbers.
  4. Play responsibly—strategy-based gambling is an investment, but never spend more on lottery tickets than you can afford.
  5. Consider all the successes and failures—consider the ups and downs as lessons and guidelines to improve your strategy.

Final Thoughts

Marge and Jerry Selbee’s lottery experience is a good example of how you can sometimes increase your chances of winning a game of luck. In their case, it required them to rely on mathematics and treat the game as an engaging process, not just a source of cash.

The proper application of mathematical laws and a deep study of the chosen lottery can help you find the best strategy and hopefully boost your chances of winning.

Are You the Next Lottery Winner?