WATCH: Michigan Couple Who Gamed The Lottery System Featured In New Movie
Jerry and Marge Selbee of Evart found a loophole in a Michigan lottery game and cashed in to the tune of over $9 million dollars.
'Jerry And Marge Go Large' Will Debut Nationally On June 17
The feature film has 'Breaking Bad' starring Bryan Cranston as Jerry Selbee and Annette Bening as his wife, Marge, who together with some others in their hometown, worked a flaw in the Michigan Lottery to win big bucks.
Is there anyone who plays a frustrated middle age guy better than Cranston?
The movie's trailer debuted this week, and the film looks pretty good, even if it does play fast and hard with the truth. It will open nationally on June 17, and on the Paramount Plus streaming service.
In the movie they have Jerry being forced into retirement, and seem to limit the story to just one state, but it's WAY better than that.
The True Story Of Jerry and Marge Is Fascinating
Jerry worked at Kellogg's in Battle Creek, before buying a convenience store in the small mid-Michigan town of Evart. After retiring by selling the store in 2004, the amateur mathematician Jerry, noticed a flaw in a Michigan Lottery game called WinFall, where the money rolled down after four days without a winner, increasing the pay out to someone who didn't get all six numbers.
Jerry and Marge began investing large sums of money into buying thousands of tickets at a time to increase their odds on roll down days. This involved bringing other residents of Evart into their 'game', and even traveling up the road to Mesick to bring another convenience store into the mix. Eventually the couple and their friends were racking up millions for their self-proclaimed 'investment' club.
But State Lottery Officials soon caught on to their game, and although it wasn't illegal what the Selbees were doing, the State shut down the game in 2005 to prevent further bleeding.
They Moved Their Game To Massachusetts
But the Selbees and their 'investment group' weren't done, they learned that the State of Massachusetts had a similar game and began driving there every month to buy thousands of tickets and win hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But soon they discovered a group of math nerds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northeastern University were running the same game. The three groups were undercutting each other's winnings and soon had a showdown.
That's where the movie plays a little loose and turns it into a bit of a comedy, but with Cranston and Bening at the helm, I think this may be a real entertaining film.
The Boston Globe Busted All Of The Groups Involved
Eventually a reporter with the Boston Globe figured out what was going on and ratted all of them out, and causing MassLottery to shut down the WinFall game in their state as well.
MassLottery officials initially thought organized crime was behind the scam, not grandparents from Michigan.
“I was dumbfoundedly amazed that these math nerd geniuses had found a way legally to win a state lottery and make millions from it.”
The original Boston Globe article is here and below is an interview with the Selbees from CBS' '60 Minutes'.
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