# Retired couple received 20 million pounds sterling for 'code breaking' winning lotteries

A retired couple earned millions of dollars in prizes after using "basic arithmetic" to help "decipher the code" of lotteries.

Jerry and Marge Selbee made a total of \$ 26 million in state lottery games and helped dozens of others in their hometown of Evart, Michigan to beat the system.

Now their life story could be turned into a movie after they sold the rights to a Hollywood studio.

Selbee, who graduated in mathematics, noticed booklets for a new lottery called Winfall in 2003 and immediately realized how he could overcome the odds.

The game had a feature called "roll down", meaning that when no one won the \$ 5 million jackpot, money was then allocated to the next level of prizes for anyone who matched five, four, and three numbers in the game.

The lottery organizers would announce when this would happen – which means Jerry would buy thousands of tickets to maximize his chances of making some money.

In his first match, Jerry bought \$ 3,600 (£ 2,700) of tickets to Winfall and won \$ 6,300 (£ 4,700).

The next time he tried it, he nearly doubled his \$ 8,000 (£ 6,000) share.

It was then that he told his wife shocked about his scheme and the married couple decided to sell the convenience store that they had run for 17 years.

They started throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time, even setting up an investment firm called GS Strategies and inviting friends to buy stock for \$ 500 apiece.

When Winfall was closed due to a & # 39; lack of sales & # 39 ;, they turned their attention to a Massachusetts-based lottery, but this was also closed by the authorities when news of their exploits was reported in the Boston Globe.

Selbee told CBS News: "It's really just basic arithmetic. It gave you the satisfaction of being successful at something that paid off not just for us personally but also for our friends and our family.

"The only thing I found really remarkable is that no one else seemed to understand this."

It was reported that the Selbees made a total of \$ 8 million (\$ 18 million) in after-tax profit and other costs.

The Selbees used the money to renovate their home and help pay for the education of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.