A man in Florida just won a $500,000 Powerball jackpot using numbers he had copied from a fortune cookie.
The Estero, Florida resident bought the Powerball lottery ticket in North Carolina while he was in the process of moving to the state.
Ernesto Sorzano reportedly bought take-out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant and received a free fortune cookie with his order. He reportedly used the numbers listed on the fortune cookie when he bought the lottery ticket.
North Carolina lottery officials said that Sorzano matched four of the white balls, which would have given him a prize of just $50,000. However, Sorzano has bought a $3 power-play ticket, which increased the prize to $500,000. Sorzano bought the winning ticket at a 7-Eleven convenience store along Sam Furr Road in Huntersville, North Carolina.
Lottery officials said that the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million. The odds of matching four white balls and the Powerball are 1 in 913,129, officials said.
Sorzano reportedly took home a total of $353,751 after taxes on Monday. The lucky winner told reporters that he was still in disbelief of what had happened. He jokingly told reporters that the fried rice and shrimp plus the fortune cookie he bought from the Chinese restaurant was a very "good investment."
Sorzano said that the entire incident is "unbelievable" but he is super happy that his "dreams came true." Sorzano said that he plans to use his winning to buy a new house in Huntersville, North Carolina.
On Saturday, a retired master sergeant from the U.S. Marines also won $500,000 after matching four white balls. Christi Davis from New Bern, North Carolina bought a quick pick $3 Power Play ticket on Saturday. She bought the ticket through her NC Lottery Official Mobile App after realizing that she did not have a ticket for the weekend draw.
"I feel like I am in a dream. I think I am still trying to accept it," Davis said.
After state and federal tax withholdings were deducted from her winnings, Davis took home a total of $353,751. She told reporters that she plans to use the money to take her whole family on a big vacation.