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Man's Fortune Cookie Proves Extraordinarily Lucky

Charles Jackson Jr. cleans up a $344.6M Powerball prize by playing numbers in a cookie
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2019 9:14 AM CDT
How a Cookie Led to a $344.6M Powerball Win
Charles W. Jackson Jr. is introduced as the winner of Saturday's $344.6 million Powerball jackpot on Tuesday in Raleigh, NC.   (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

(Newser) – A North Carolina man has won the biggest single-ticket jackpot in the state's history, a $344.6 million Powerball prize, using numbers found in a fortune cookie. "I never expected to win. I just got lucky," says Raleigh retiree Charles W. Jackson Jr., who's played the same five numbers in Powerball and Mega Millions, sometimes altering the sixth, ever since they appeared in a fortune cookie given to his young stepdaughter two years ago, reports the News & Observer. WRAL, however, reports the cookie was given to his granddaughter at a Vietnamese restaurant.

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Following Saturday's draw, the 66-year-old had no idea how much he'd won because he doesn't watch the news. He opted for a lump-sum payout of $233 million, or $158 million after taxes. "I hope it don't change me a lot," he says, adding, "I'm still going to wear jeans—maybe newer ones." He'll give $1 million to his brother—they agreed to such a deal if either of them ever won a big prize, per WRAL—and also plans to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, Shriners Hospital for Children, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As for fun, he and his wife may travel to her native country of Vietnam. (Read more Powerball stories.)

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