Lotteries: Beating The Odds

Beating The Odds

When the jackpot in the Virginia state lottery topped $27 million last month, many local residents gave in to the temptation of buying a few extra tickets. But most were beaten to the punch: in the days before the Feb. 15 drawing, a group of buyers spent approximately $5 million snapping up the bulk of the 7,059,052 possible combinations.

Virginia lottery officials suspect that an Australian investor group, which regularly places huge sums of money in foreign lotteries, was behind the mass purchase. The group apparently located Virginia lottery outlets that were willing to churn out mass quantities of tickets in...

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