I made £1.6million after working out how to win big on the roulette wheel – but I’m no cheat and here's how I did it | The Sun

A DAD struggling to make ends meet was able to earn a whooping £1.6million after devising a legal method to win big on roulette tables.

Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo, from Spain, noticed that certain numbers appeared to come up more often on the roulette wheels and so made it his mission to find out why. 

Dubbed the King of the roulette wheel, now 75, he set about watching and recording as many spins as possible at his local casino, the Casino Gran Madrid, over several months. 

Determined to beat the game he realised that each roulette table had slight imperfections, and no matter how small it threw up certain numbers that could be predicted by the player. 

He used his computer to complete an in-depth analysis of the results which lead to the high roller creaming over £1.6million from casinos around the world.

The dad-of-five also got his kids, Ivan and Vanessa, to help carry out his master plan and sent them to other casinos to record data on the roulette wheels. 


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But when the venues noticed the family raking in the cash, they grew suspicious and even took Gonzalo to court. 

But in another stroke of luck, the courts ruled that his method of predicting results was completely legal and that he was using the data to make an educated guess. 

In an interview, Gonzalo said: "I like tricking casinos because they are like the enemy.

"…Myself and casinos are enemies- it’s not like we are friends when we finish. When we finish we are still enemies.

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"They are very pretentious and ignorant."

He added: "I estimate that as a normal player I win once every three days.

"If this player is a bit lucky, he could win two or three times which would put him on top.

“What happens is that after, there will be another one who will have bad luck and not win once every three days, win once every five days- which already is a huge advantage for the casino.

"But if it’s a local small casino, it is possible for the casino to lose that month."

When asked how he managed to work out the magical formula, he said: "Basically it was about analysing the limits of luck.

"I think this was the fundamental idea, not only for the casino but for all my life- that luck has its limits.

"And I think this was a complete revelation- good and bad.

"It’s very important- I know it’s a bit philosophical but everything has its limitations and so does luck.

"A very quick example: Toss a coin 100 times, heads or tails. It makes sense to get about 50-50. 

"Then luck affects the result and in cases we might get 52-48 or 55-45."

"It is practically impossible to get more than what you want- let’s assume you want heads 65 time."

"There’s a limit of luck- but it’s also impossible to get less than what you want."


Born in Madrid in 1947, Gonzalo's military father died when he was just five and the family moved to Seville. 

It was here that he first showed an interest in music and began working in a nightclub and at a radio station.  

He went on to study music and film and rubbed shoulders with the stars but was still struggling to earn enough cash to raise his family. 

After visiting his local casino he noticed that some winning numbers came up more often than others – he set about finding out why. 

He noticed slight differences in the pocket sizes, and the wheel’s gears, and spotted unlevel floors which could all affect the spin.

He studied the Casino Gran Madrid’s roulette tables for months, noting down each and every win – but not placing any wagers. 

After recording 30,000 results, it revealed that some numbers could come up as often as every 28 throws. 

He then put all of his collected data into his computer for analysis meaning he could predict the outcome of every roulette he played. 

The gambling fanatic realised that the system didn’t mean the player would win every time but gave them a 6 percent advantage and meant they could beat the house over a long run. 

To cover his losses, he initially had to bankroll the scheme by selling the rights to one of his documentaries – but when the money started rolling in he no longer needed to.

Gonzalo was determined to try his method elsewhere and recruited his eldest son, Ivan, and eldest daughter, Vanessa, to collect results from other casinos across Madrid.  

In 1991, the trio began playing, and less than a year later they won £620,000.

Eventually, the team scooped £1.6million in winnings from Las Vegas, Australia, Denmark, Holland and Austria when they were banned from Spain and forced to play abroad.

They would disguise their accents to try and blend into the tourists but staff began to notice their suspicious behaviour.

In 2004, after being taken to court by the Casino de Madrid a judge ruled that the family were not cheaters and had used fair methods to guess the outcome of the spins.

After a ten-year court battle, Gonzalo cleared his name and was able to enter Madrid casinos once more.

But despite the ruling, he refused to go back and instead would sue the venue for £800,000 in lost earnings. 

After several years he won and the gambling operator was forced to pay up for the ‘emotional distress’ caused.

During his years in exile from the Spanish casinos, he wrote a book in 2003, The Fabulous Story of Pelayos, about his family’s legal method to win big. 

In fact, the family's story was even made into a film in 2012, ‘Winning Streak’ starring actors Daniel Bruhl and Lluis Homar. 

Now at the age of 75, he focuses on making movies and has produced 17 films as well as producing music.

But says he now prefers a flutter on the horses in the UK and is currently working on a system that would allow him to lose just one race a year.  

He told Vice: “I like it and it amuses me. When I don’t have much to do, I spend a lot of my time with it. 

“…I have just finished a year of horse racing with the current system, and now I am closing the exercise. 

“There have been 11,500 races, we have won 9 months and lost 3 and the goal is to only lose one.” 

Last week, the Sun reported on a £260,000 bet that is being branded the biggest scandal in poker history. 

Newcomer player Robbi Jade Lew, 35, beat regular Garrett Adelstein in a game by going all in on a bad hand in a Los Angeles casino. 

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Her move left viewers stunned as Garrett accused her of using a vibrator to cheat. 

The casino has launched an investigation into the claims and Lew gave Garrett back £120,000 following the accusations. 

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