Man Wins Mega Lottery Prize After Picking Numbers From A Fortune Cookie

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Lottery Fortune Cookie

Sometimes luck comes from the strangest places! A 66-year-old man from North Carolina picked his lottery numbers from an odd place: a fortune cookie his granddaughter gave to him. And guess what? He won $344 million! Read on to discover one of the greatest stories of this year…

Numbers From A…Fortune Cookie

Lottery Fortune Cookie
Adriana Nikolova/Shutterstock

Buying lottery tickets is like gambling – it’s very fun, you’re hopeful, but you know your chances of winning are slim to none. However, last week, a man from North Carolina’s beat the odds: he won $344.6 million with a single lottery ticket.

After he won nearly $350 million, everyone had the same question: how did he pick the numbers? Well, Charles W. Jackson Jr., the winner of it all, has quite the story to tell regarding the numbers. Jackson is a 66-year-old retiree and buys lottery tickets on a regular basis. He’s been doing it for years, but this time, he chose the number according to a fortunate cookie (!) his granddaughter gave him, which she received in a Vietnamese restaurant.

It’s incredible learning that these fortune cookie might actually be able to tell the future… however, when Jackson first went to collect his prize winnings, he thought he “only” won $50,000.

Winning The Grand Prize

Lottery Fortune Cookie
CBS 17

In an interview with a local news station (watch it here), Jackson said that at first, he hadn’t noticed the last digit of his lottery numbers and didn’t realize he guessed all of them correctly, and so he thought he won a smaller prize – $50,000. “I didn’t see the last digit… after I hung up with [my wife], I jumped back in there and looked, and I said, ‘Dang, I got em all.'” Talk about a dream turning into heaven!

Jackson added, “I never expected to win, so I just got lucky.” In fact, this story gets even crazier – this is the only win in North Carolina history where someone guessed all of the numbers correctly in a single ticket. Of that, Jackson said, “You play to win, but you don’t ever expect to win. It still hasn’t come over me yet how much… all that money.”

What Will Jackson Do With The Money?

Lottery Fortune Cookie
CBS 17

“All that money” is a correct reaction – $50,000 is a lot, but imagine winning $344.6 million! Obviously, there are taxes – so after that, Jackson remains with $223 million. Jackson said he hopes winning wouldn’t change him much; he’s still very much himself. He said he’s still going to wear his jeans – “maybe newer ones,” he joked.

So what will Jackson do with all of this money, aside from going jeans shopping?

He said that first and foremost, he will give a million dollars to his brother, as they had a pact in which whoever one wins the lottery, gives the other a “million bucks.” Jackson is also planning to donate some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. We linked those, so if you feel like donating, you also can!

Whatever else Jackson plans on doing with his lottery prize – we’re sure he’ll spend it right, having a good head on his shoulders like that. Congratulations!