Man who won lottery 14 times was cleared of all crimes he was accused of after huge wins
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The man who won the lottery 14 times was cleared of all crimes he was accused of after some pretty monumental wins.
Romanian economist Stefan Mandel, now 89, really took the idea of 'hitting the jackpot' to a whole new level after raking in fortunes by figuring out a number-picking algorithm to beat the system and repeatedly win the lottery.
The man enlisted the help of a group of investors and a syndicate called the International Lotto Fund (ILF) and they went on to target lotteries in the US, Romania and Australia.
And the kicker? The bloke never spent a day behind bars.
All thanks to what he dubs as 'simple maths', the money-making method went on to earn Mandel a staggering $27 million jackpot prize, alongside a still cushty $900,000 in additional prizes for tickets that placed second, third, fourth and so on back in 1992.
While Mandel's schemes weren't technically illegal - they definitely rose a whole load of suspicions with authorities as various international agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, investigated him and the ILF for wrongdoing.
However, both Mandel and the ILF were subsequently cleared.
Mandel entered a lengthy years-long legal battle and while he was acquitted for all the crimes he was accused of - the whole ordeal caused him a bunch of financial trouble.
The big-hitter would later declare bankruptcy in 1995, just three years after his mammoth win, and went on to spend the next decade running various investment schemes.
One of his investment schemes nearly landed him with a jail sentence in Israel, but the conviction was later overturned and Mandel never spent a day behind bars.
His number-picking algorithm he called 'combinatorial condensation' - which rested on the price of buying enough lottery tickets to play every possible combination being less than the jackpot prize - led the US to establish laws to ban it altogether.
The lottery rules were changed to ban punters from bulk-buying tickets as well as the use of computer-generated tickets to ensure no one else could replicate Mandel's methods.
Nowadays, the lottery legend spends his golden years in a beach on a remote tropical island called Vanuatu off the coast of Australia after having declared himself 'retired from the lottery' altogether.
"I’m a man who takes risks, but in a calculated way," Mandel told Romanian newspaper Bursa back in 2012.
"Trimming my beard is a lottery: There is always the possibility that I’ll cut myself, get an infection in my blood and die — but I do it anyway. The chances are in my favor."
Well, considering he didn't face any actual repercussions for his actions - it's clear the chances were most definitely in his favor.