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Mass. Changes Rules To Cash WinFall Lottery After Easy Wins

The Huffington Post   Michael McLaughlin First Posted: 08/03/11 10:47 AM ET Updated: 10/03/11 06:12 AM ET

Lottery Tickets

The days of easy wins for savvy gamblers in Massachusetts appear to be over, because state officials shut a loophole in a lottery game that was exploited for big prizes.

A small group of number-crunching players had discovered that there were certain times when the odds of winning heavily tilted in their favor if they bought at least $100,000 worth of tickets. The flaw in the lottery system was exposed by The Boston Globe on Sunday. But state officials made it harder yesterday for the big spenders to hit pay dirt by placing a $5,000 limit on the amount of tickets they could buy in one store on any day, according to the Globe..

Cash WinFall was a relatively obscure game where players had to match six numbers on their ticket with randomly drawn numbers. But if no one matched all six and the unclaimed jackpot was around $2 million, the prize money was redistributed among ticket holders with fewer matching numbers. Statisticians calculated that players buying $100,000 of tickets were virtually guaranteed to win during those brief periods.

One couple in their 70s, Marjorie and Gerald Selbee, had won more than $1 million this year by buying at least $614,000 worth of tickets so far, the Globe reported.

State lottery officials also announced yesterday they will end Cash WinFall next year, because of declining sales, ABC reported.

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