How to make a killing on the lottery

The winning formula: Irish syndicate reveals the painstaking method for beating the odds

REBECCA FOWLER

It is perhaps not the easiest way to make a million, but for Stefan Klincewicz, 45, a half-Polish accountant, it worked. His 28-strong syndicate purchased the winning ticket for the pounds 2.2m jackpot in the Irish lottery four years ago in a dramatic sting.

Mr Klincewicz devised the plot in a Dublin pub in 1990 in anticipation of a rollover jackpot, when the prize swells to record levels. As soon as it came up, his team of ticket buyers tore across Ireland.

Although Irish lottery chiefs recognised that sales had increased dramatically, and started to shut down terminals the day before the draw, the syndicate bought up 80 per cent of the total 1.94 million ticket number combinations.

Mr Klincewicz, who knows Stefan Mandel, head of the Australian syndicate allegedly considering a sting on the British lottery this week, said yesterday that he would not even attempt such an operation on this week's pounds 40m jackpot.

"It's incredibly risky. The problem from a statistical point of view is that there should be seven, eight or nine winners in Saturday night's draw," he said.

"The United Kingdom lottery has been designed to stop this sort of thing going on, so that even if you buy all the tickets, the risk is still enormous. Whereas with the Irish lottery, there was also a pounds 100 prize for matching four numbers which mean investors were always going to get a 75 per cent return."

After his coup, Mr Klince-wicz laid out the game-plan for the perfect lottery plot. First, the Irish syndicate raised the money to cover the tickets, and passed it on to a firm of accountants to bank. It then set up offices in a central location to co-ordinate the ticket-buying. Pay- slips were collected in batches from shops over a period of a week in an attempt to prevent a sudden influx. They were filled out at headquarters, and the syndicate started recruiting teams of ticket-buyers. "You don't advertise for people. You just get them by word of mouth," Mr Klincewicz said.

A selection of hotel rooms were then booked across the country, and the money for the tickets put into banks nearby. The job of getting tickets inputted then began and the syndicate lay bets of nearly pounds 900,000 in two days before it was stopped by officials. "You choose machines where you don't get in the way of other people who are buying tickets," Mr Klincewicz said.

The lottery organisers became suspicious when they noticed shops normally selling less than pounds 1,000 worth of tickets daily suddenly recording sales of pounds 15,000 in a morning.

Once the tickets were purchased they were taken back to the headquarters and kept in secure storage. "When you've got the ticket, you just sit back and enjoy the show," Mr Klincewicz said. But the biggest risk for any syndicate, is whether regular players will also have come up with the winning combination through luck.

Although Mr Klincewicz's syndicate - which included a barrister, business executives and a roof contractor - had the winning ticket, it was still forced to share it with another winner, leaving it with Irpounds 568,682, although it scooped another Irpounds 400,000 from mopping up secondary prizes.

Mr Klincewicz has subsequently set up a series of other syndicates from his parent company, that bears the logo "A chance to Dream".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer - Midweight / Senior

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks