Anubhav Guha started day trading a few thousand dollars in March but managed to lose half of his money despite the stock market’s epic rally last year. He made that up and far, far more betting on GameStop Corp.
Mr. Guha turned $500 into $203,411 in less than three weeks with an options trade on the mall retailer.
The rally and now collapse of GameStop was a dramatic clash of small-time traders against hedge funds, but for Mr. Guha it was more of a lottery ticket, though it had more ups and downs than a typical Powerball drawing.
The 24-year-old is a graduate student in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He pinches pennies by eating the same simple meal for lunch and dinner seven days a week to help get by on his $36,000-a-year income.
With the fall semester over and not much to do in January, Mr. Guha began spending more time on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum. He was initially skeptical of the GameStop exuberance, but the rowdy community soon won him over. “It was pretty enticing,” he said.