Is Tyler Langford Based on a Real Person? Where is He Now?

Paramount+’s comedy film ‘Jerry & Marge Go Large’ follows Jerry Selbee, who discovers a loophole in the WinFall lottery game to acquire guaranteed profits. He shares his discovery with his wife Marge Selbee and the couple starts to buy thousands of WinFall tickets. As Jerry and Marge reap profits, Tyler Langford, a Harvard University student, also discovers the loophole in the WinFall lottery system and competes against Jerry to attain the most possible payout. As the film depicts the tensions that arise between Jerry and Tyler, the viewers must want to know whether the latter is based on a real person. Let us share the answer!

Is Tyler Langford Based on a Real Person?

Tyler Langford is reportedly based on James Harvey, a then-MIT student who also discovered the loophole in the WinFall lottery game. A mathematics major in his final semester at the time, Harvey got interested in Cash WinFall while researching for an independent study project. It didn’t take long for him to find out that a player could acquire profit during the roll-down week by playing Cash WinFall effectively. He collected $20 from 50 people and bought tickets for $1,000, only to earn $3,000 using the same.

Along with Yuran Lu, a fellow MIT student, Harvey started an enterprise named Random Strategies Investments LLC to play Cash WinFall, as Tyler does in the film with Eric. When Jerry and Marge used computer-generated tickets, Harvey and his group filled out lottery slips to avoid duplicates. The number of tickets bought for a draw even reached 300,000. In August 2010, Harvey and his group made an unorthodox-yet-significant move while playing the lottery game.

When the Massachusetts Lottery didn’t announce a roll-down since the jackpot money didn’t hit the required $2 million, Harvey and his team took advantage of the same by triggering a roll-down. They bought a whopping 700,000 lottery tickets for $1.4 million. Since the roll-down wasn’t announced, Jerry and Marge didn’t buy the tickets, which enabled Harvey and his group to acquire a $700,000 cash profit without any significant competition.

As Tyler’s actions affect Jerry and Marge in the film, Harvey and his group’s efforts to create a roll-down surprised the real-life couple in reality. “They [Harvey and his group] took us out of the game. Intentionally,” Jerry said about the particular draw, as per Jason Fagone’s eponymous article, the source text of the film. According to the report of the Massachusetts state inspector general of the time, Greg Sullivan, who investigated the Cash WinFall game, Harvey and his group earned $17-18 million by playing the lottery game.

Even though he hadn’t revealed the exact profit figure he and his team made, the OIG estimated that his group made at least $3.5 million before taxes during the seven years it was active. Although Tyler bears similarities to Harvey to an extent, screenwriter Brad Copeland most likely had taken creative liberties to conceive the former for the sake of dramatic purposes. Although Tyler and Jerry confront each other multiple times in the film, there aren’t any sources to prove that such confrontations happened in real life.

Where is James Harvey Now?

After the shutdown of Cash WinFall in January 2012, Harvey and Yuran Lu’s enterprise got closed down in May 2012. He founded ZeroMailer in March 2012 and was the CEO of the same till November 2014. The company was based in San Francisco Bay Area, California. Harvey is also the co-founder of QuicklyChat, which he founded with Yuran Lu. From November 2014 to September 2017, he worked in Dropbox as a software engineer.

In September 2017, he moved to Samsara, where he worked until October 2020. From February 2021 to September 2021, he was part of Pilot. As per sources, Harvey currently resides in San Francisco, California. He has chosen to keep his personal life and matters, including the relationship status, private. When Jason Fagone was writing the source story of the film, the journalist requested an interview with Harvey, but he didn’t respond.

Read More: Where Are Jerry and Marge Selbee Now? Are They Still Together?