It's not a movie script.  And it's not illegal.  It's just "sixth-grade" math according to Evart's Gerald Selbee.

Selbee is part of a group who made thousands of dollars by buying lottery tickets in bulk, sometimes spending as much as $720,000, then making it all back...and then some.

His secret?

Know when the odds are in your favor and BUY! talks about Selbee's background and the lottery games he learned to win:

Evart resident Gerald Selbee was the principle of a "high-volume betting syndicate" that took advantage of favorable odds in the Massachusetts Cash WinFall game between 2005 and 2011, according to Inspector General Gregory W. Sullivan.

Selbee, who studied business and mathematics in college before operating his own retail store in Evart, formed a 32-member investment group to play a similar game in Michigan until it ended it 2005.

Now for the good stuff. explains how he did it:

Both six-number matching games included a "roll-down" feature that increased player's chances of a payday if the unclaimed jackpot reached a certain threshold.

In Massachusetts, the odds were higher and the roll-down threshold was lower than in Michigan. If the jackpot topped $2 million and no players matched all six numbers, the money was distributed among those who managed to match five or fewer.

Selbee, along with at least two other notable groups, realized that playing at the time of an anticipated roll-down drawing was "a good bet" statistically, according to the report.

"In every roll-down drawing in the game's history, for every $1 wagered, there was $1.15 (or usually more) sitting in the Cash WinFall prize pool to be shared among that drawing's ticket holders. In that sense, every ticket was worth more than it cost."

By buying in bulk for his G S Investment Strategies group, Selbee could tap into favorable favorable margins, which he calculated to be between 17 and 21 percent before taxes.

"Anyone who put these two facts together would see an obvious way to make money: sit on the sidelines while other players build the jackpot up close to $2 million, and then jump in," wrote Sullivan.

Read the official government document which further explains the process and concludes that the money made was all made legally.

Now if we only had a few hundred thousand dollars to spend on tickets...