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US woman wins lottery 4 times, sparks questions on her 'luck'

August 14, 2011 - Melbourne

An American woman, who won a scratch-and-win lottery four times, has sparked speculations whether it is her luck or she knows the secrets of the game.

Joan R. Ginther, 63, from Texas and dubbed the 'luckiest woman in the world', has amassed 20 million dollars through scratchies.

She first won 5.4 million dollars in 1993, then 2 million dollars in 2006, again two years later 3 million dollars and in the summer of 2010, she hit a 10million-dollar jackpot, reports the Herald Sun

But some people who think winning the lottery four times is more than just a coincidental spell of good fortune believe Ginther, who is a Stanford-educated maths genius, may have cracked the code that determines how winning tickets are distributed.

Although Ginther now lives in Las Vegas, she won all four of her lotteries in Texas.

Three of her wins, all in two-year intervals, were by scratch-off tickets bought at the same mini mart in the town of Bishop.

Harper's reporter Nathanial Rich recently wrote an article about Ginther, which calls the validity of her "luck" into question.

First, he points out Ginther is a former math professor with a PhD from Stanford University specialising in statistics.

The reporter details the myriad ways in which Ginther could have gamed the system - including the fact that she may have figured out the algorithm that determines where a winner is placed in each run of scratch-off tickets.

He believes that after Ginther figured out the algorithm, it wouldn't be difficult to determine where the tickets would be shipped, as the shipping schedule is apparently fixed, and there were a few sources she could have found it out from.

However, the Texas Lottery Commission told Rich that Ginther must have been born under a lucky star, and that they don't suspect foul play.


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