Caught Stealing

And it’s all perfectly legal, because it’s all in the math.

A game with a windfall for a knowing few

Billy’s Beer and Wine sold exactly $47 worth of lottery tickets the day before Marjorie Selbee arrived, just another sleepy day for the liquor store in this tiny Western Massachusetts town. But from the moment the 70-something woman from Michigan entered the store early July 12, Billy’s wasn’t sleepy anymore.

Over the next three days, Selbee bought $307,000 worth of $2 tickets for a relatively obscure game called Cash WinFall, tying up the machine that spits out the pink tickets for hours at a time. Down the road at Jerry’s Place, a coffee shop in South Deerfield, Selbee’s husband, Gerald, was also spending $307,000 on Cash WinFall. Together, the couple bought more than 300,000 tickets for a game whose biggest prize – about $2 million – has been claimed exactly once in the game’s seven-year history.

But the Selbees, who run a gambling company called GS Investment Strategies, know a secret about the Massachusetts State Lottery: For a few days about every three months, Cash WinFall may be the most reliably lucrative lottery game in the country. Because of a quirk in the rules, when the jackpot reaches roughly $2 million and no one wins, payoffs for smaller prizes swell dramatically, which statisticians say practically assures a profit to anyone who buys at least $100,000 worth of tickets.

During these brief periods – “rolldown weeks’’ in gambling parlance – a tiny group of savvy bettors, among them highly trained computer scientists from MIT and Northeastern University, virtually take over the game. Just three groups, including the Selbees, claimed 1,105 of the 1,605 winning Cash WinFall tickets statewide after the rolldown week in May, according to lottery records. They also appear to have purchased about half the tickets, based on reports from the stores that the top gamblers frequent most.

See also:
Elderly Couple Games Lottery, Wins Millions
Elderly Couple Finds Loophole In Massachusetts Lottery
How to Win the Lottery: Couple Profited From Quirk in Massachusetts Cash WinFall Game
Beating the System: Couple Spends $600,000 to Win Lottery Millions
Talk about making your own luck! Elderly couple who spent $600,000 on lottery tickets to win millions in prizes
Massachusetts Lottery Loophole Virtually Guaranteed a Profit
Massachusetts Lottery Players Exploit Game for Profit
How three groups collected almost 70% of lottery winnings
Gamblers find loophole in Mass. lottery game
Lottery scheme appears to cause trouble for area outlets
Massachusetts restricts lottery ticket sales after couple cracks secret to winning millions
Lottery restricts high-level players
Broken Lotteries

How stupid is Massachusetts for not catching this after the first time? Limiting the amount of tickets an outlet can sell in a day now is a lot like closing the barn door after the horse is long gone.

/oh well, all good things must come to an end and the Selbees are laughing all the way to the bank

Lady Al Qaeda Goes To Jail, Pakistan Seethes

Remember boys and girls, Pakistan is our ally.

Pakistani Woman Sentenced for Attacks on U.S. Troops

A suspected al-Qaeda agent was sentenced yesterday to more than eight decades in U.S. prison for the July 2008 attempted killings of U.S. troops, Agence France-Presse reported. At the time of the MIT-educated neuroscientist’s arrest, she was reportedly in possession of instructions for making a radiological “dirty bomb” (see GSN, Feb. 4).

Pakistani-born Aafia Siddiqui was convicted in U.S. federal court in February for the attempted shootings of several U.S. soldiers and FBI agents interrogating her in an Afghan police station. The 38-year-old mother of three was charged with seizing a serviceman’s rifle and opening fire while yelling “death to America,” though no one was struck by the bullets. Siddiqui took a bullet to the stomach before she was restrained.

. . .

Among her possessions at the time of her 2008 arrest in Afghanistan were documents referring to a “mass casualty attack” on New York City and containers filled with sodium cyanide, the Associated Press reported (Tom Hays, Associated Press/Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 24).

So, she was an al Qaeda operative who tried to kill American soldiers while screaming “death to America” and had in her possession plans and materials for a dirty bomb attack on New York City. You’d think our close ally Pakistan would be glad and grateful that this terrorist scum menace is off the streets for the next 86 years, right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Pakistan angry over terror conviction in US

The country’s leaders were quick to show their outrage at the sentence handed down to a Pakistani woman convicted of attacking U.S. agents, as were opposition politicians. By the time weekly prayers rolled round, protesters were battling police and the Pakistani Taliban had offered its support.

The sentencing of Aafia Siddique to 86 years in an American jail left enemies and political opponents reading from the same script Friday, riding a wave of anger on behalf of a woman widely believed to be an innocent victim of a vengeful, post 9/11 American justice system.

See also:
Judge Gives Pakistani Woman 86 Years in Attack
Pakistan neuroscientist given 86 years for shooting at US agents
Pakistani Scientist Sentenced To 86 Years For Trying To Kill US Agents
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for shooting
‘Lady al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison
Pakistani scientist ‘Lady Al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison for trying to kill U.S. soldiers
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for attempted murder
Protests erupt over Dr Aafia’s conviction
Aafia’s sentence sparks protests in twin cities
Pakistanis Protest NY Court Ruling on Female Scientist
U.S. Sentence for Pakistani Ignites Anger and Protests
Pakistanis Protest Scientist’s Sentencing In U.S.
Country erupts over Dr Aafia verdict
Rallies slam US court sentence against Aafia
APWA strongly condemns Aafia’s sentence
Nisar asks MPs to stage walkout over Aafia’s conviction
Pakistani foreign minister ‘disappointed’ over scientist’s sentence
Govt chalks out strategy for Aafia’s repatriation
Legal efforts to seek reprieve for Aafia initiated
Aafia Siddiqui

Every year, we give Pakistan billions in humanitarian and military aid and this is the hatred and scorn we get in return.

/make you wonder which side Pakistan is really on, doesn’t it?