On November 3, the Stanford Math Research Center, the Stanford Mathematics Department, and the Friends of Stanford Math will present a public lecture by Professor Jordan Ellenberg (University of Wisconsin—Madison) in Cubberley Auditorium at 7:30pm. His lecture is entitled “How to Use Math to Get Rich in the Lottery*”.

For seven years, a group of students from MIT exploited a loophole in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s Cash WinFall game to win drawing after drawing, eventually pocketing more that $3 million. How did they do it? How did they get away with it? And what does this all have to do with mathematical entities like finite geometries, variance of probability distributions, and error-correcting codes?

* will not actually help you get rich in the lottery