Studying math pays off for renowned casino slots cheater.

There are many university graduates who often feel the earning potential of their major does not measure up to the difficulty of studying the topic, and so it was for a university math graduate from Russia who admitted that his love for RNGs lead him to develop ways to predict the randomness ( oxymoron) of slot machines.  His path to millions came about, as many do, from a few unlikely events happening in the right order.

The first event was being hired by a local Russian casino in order to reverse engineer the RNG of their slot machines.  Ironically the casino wanted to use his information and reverse engineering skills to cheat players by turning off or delaying the machines at moments when they were more likely to produce winning RNGs for the players.  For those who may not understand the terminology and brief explanation.  RNG stands for Random Number Generator and is a series of advanced calculations designed to give the appearance of randomness even though computers are incapable of producing randomness.  Many RNG generators use the time ( in milliseconds), others use the rotation of the earth, but in the case of the system that was reverse engineered by the Russian hacker, the decay rate of a certain radioactive material was used as the base of the RNG generator.  Using this information the hacker was able to re-create ( or reverse engineer) the mathematical formula used by the slot machine and thus be able to determine the exact moments when the slot machine would be more likely to produce a winning result.  For instance, he was able to determine that in a particular minute of a day, that machine would produce a significantly high number of winning spins.

However, his ability to reverse engineer the formula only came about because of a major political incident in Russia, the outlawing of slot machines and gambling in much of Russia.  The net effect of this change in law was that the hacker was able to buy a huge amount of very cheap slot machines and do a lot of research in order to reverse engineer the system being used to produce results.  Ironically it was his previous employment with the Russian casino that gave him the knowledge that such a thing was even possible.

From there the scam became more classic.  He had a team of gamblers who would go to casinos throughout the world and record spins, at which point he could then figure out where they were in their process and be able to determine points in the future where that machine would have a lot of winning.  He would then simply buzz his helper in the casino at the moment right before the machine was about to go on a winning streak or a time when the slot machine would be a winner over an extended period of time.  His results speak for themselves, after years of running the system, some of his helpers were arrested after winning more than a quarter of a million dollars each during individual trips to the casinos playing slots.

So when you hear someone in school say ´why do I need to learn this math that I will never use´..  now you can tell them one reason to learn it.