In terms of lucky stories, this one takes the cookie.
North Carolina man Charles W. Jackson, Jr. not only won the massive Powerball jackpot worth approximately US$344 million, but he said he used the numbers from a fortune cookie he received from his granddaughter a couple of years ago.
He’s played the same five numbers in the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries ever since he was gifted the cookie, but added he sometimes made changes to the sixth.
Jackson, a 66-year-old retiree, showed up at the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday to claim his gigantic prize, the largest the state has ever given out.
Initially, Jackson thought he had only won $50,000, but as he headed to the lottery headquarters he realized that he had actually matched all six numbers and won the jackpot. The odds of matching all of the numbers are about 1 in 292.2 million.
“I said, ‘Dang, I got them all,'” he said at the news conference. “I never expected to win. I just got lucky.”
He also said he had to find the jackpot amount on Google because he doesn’t watch TV news. Once he did, he told his wife, “You ain’t going to believe this — I got it all.”
He chose the $223 million lump sum payment and said he would donate some of it to several charities and give $1 million to his brother to “make good on a deal they made.”
He also plans to take a trip to Vietnam — where his wife is from — and otherwise doesn’t have any concrete plans.
“I don’t know what to do with most of it,” he said. “I hope it don’t change me a lot. I’m going to try not to change my life. I’m still going to wear jeans. Maybe newer ones.”
— With files from The Associated Press
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