TMSG: Movies based on the Michigan family are now being streamed
EVART, Mich. (WLNS) – Evart Michigan. Population 1,673. That is the setting for the movie “Jerry and Marge Go Large”.
You may have heard of Jerry and Marge Selbee and Jerry’s winning formula.
“I’ve always been good at numbers. Never been too good with words, Jerry said.
Back in 2003 while reading the back of a payout brochure called Winfall, Jerry discovered a flaw in the way the game was set up that could be used to a player’s advantage.
Initially, when the jackpot was not paid out, the odds of smaller payouts became much more favorable to the player.
Jerry calculated that he would only lose 3 out of 20 times. He tested his theory.
And he was right.
“The next bet was $ 3,000, and I got back $ 15,700,” Jerry said.
It was perfectly legal. The couple brought family and friends to the action.
“We played $ 18,000 and lost. They stayed with me and we had the loss of $ 18,000 and a profit back in the next draw, Jerry said.
Their ways of winning continued, first in Michigan until the state dropped the game, then in Massachusetts until the state lottery shelved the game in 2012.
The states said they were simply phasing out the games. Jerry is convinced that they were embarrassed about his way of winning.
There were articles and news magazine articles about Jerry and Marge. Then Hollywood picked up the story.
This week, Jerry and Marge Go Large started streaming on the Paramount streaming service. Annette Benning plays Marge. Bryan Cranston plays Jerry.
Suddenly, the couple from this small Osceola County Community walk the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival.
For years, the couple traveled to Massachusetts to play Winfall, printed out the tickets and checked them one by one. They won a total of $ 1.8 million over the years.
But there was a dramatic license in the film, which has Jerry as the recently retired line manager at Kellogg’s.
The truth is that he worked at Kellogg in the 1960s.
The couple bought a convenience store in Evart in the early ’80s and eventually sold it and retired, and the recipients were family and friends who invested in GS Investment Strategies, the company Jerry formed to distribute the profits, not the Evart community, and there were no Harvard University rivals attempting a hostile takeover of the GS.
“If they had strictly adhered to a documentary, it would have been boring. They had to jazz it up a bit, Jerry said.
But while Hollywood got the motive behind the effort, the gains did not change their lives.
Married for 65 years, parents of six children, 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, Selbees still lives in the comfortable home just a short drive from downtown Evart.
‘We did not take a cruise. We did not do things out of the ordinary that we normally would have done anyway, Jerry said. “It did not seem like work to us. It was just a joy and a challenge to do that. ”
And it was their luck to win gave others. Jerry still remembers an investor named Aldee.
Jerry and Aldee played poker. One day, Aldee did not show up for the match.
– He drove to the hospital himself. He had had a heart attack, Jerry said.
A few days later, when Aldee was in a coma, the man’s son gave him the final prize: $ 73,000.
“He said he thought he saw Aldee smile. Aldee died that night. It always breaks me,” Jerry said.