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MIT Blackjack Champ Semyon Dukach Builds Flying Cars

Dec 29, 2010

Flying car
Flying car

Semyon Dukach made a name for himself by winning at blackjack, but now he directs a company called Terrafugia that builds flying cars.

Dukach was a member of the MIT Blackjack Team that used advanced card counting strategies to take Las Vegas casinos for tens of thousands of dollars in the mid-1980s. Dokach’s blackjack career went on to include participation in other blackjack card counting schemes, working with teams like Strategic Investments and later the Amphibians. He used his advanced blackjack strategy to win money in Vegas until the late 1990s.

Dukach still enjoys playing blackjack card games, but he is focusing his energies in other pursuits these days. Since setting aside his blackjack career, he has dabbled in virtual reality with IBM and has been involved in a number of software and internet products.

Now, it seems Dukach has a new passion – flying cars. In federal documents concerning millions of dollars in equity financing, Dukach is listed as one of three directors of aviation company Terrafugia, which focuses developing hybrid flying machines; basically, flying cars.

Earlier this year Terrafugia signed as a subcontractor on a $65-million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project to develop a four-person flying car, but the company is best known for their smaller flying vehicle called The Transition. It is a personal airplane with foldable wings that is just as comfortable driving down the road as it is flying through the clouds. The Transition went into small-scale production in September, and with a $10,000 reservation deposit, anyone can take a step towards owing a flying car of their very own.


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