June 07, 2007

fortune cookie led to a lottery win ...

there's a folklore about how fortune cookies have led to people winning lotteries and other fortunes, but has this actually happened?

the answer is ... yes!

according to snopes, this occurred during the march 30, 2005 powerball drawing (usa).

although only one player won the $13.8 million jackpot, there were 110 people who claimed the second prize for matching the first five of the six numbers drawn! this second prize was either $100,000 or $500,000, depending on if the entrant paid the extra dollar for multiple wins (power play option).

powerball officials suspected fraud, since usually only four or five second prize winners are recorded, not 110!

however, there was no fraud in this situation. the winning numbers were recommended by a fortune cookie manufactured in queens, ny, a combination including the 1st five correct digits: the 22, 28, 32, 33, and 39. the last number recommended was 40, rather than the winning number of 42 (the red powerball number).

powerball officials repeatedly heard that the second prize winners had gotten the combination from a fortune cookie, & an additional confirmation of the claim came from the lottery tickets themselves: nearly all of them listed "40" (the final of the six numbers given on the fortune cookie slips) as the powerball number, .

that wasn't the first time fortune cookies led to correct lottery combinations! also according to snopes, a decade earlier, exactly on march 25, 1995, two of the three winners who split a $4 million lotto texas jackpot had used numbers suggested by a slip of paper from a fortune cookie, & to make that even weirder, the "fortune" made arrangements so that the two lucky persons were wife & husband!

scotty turnbull purchased his ticket in mission, texas, at united drive in, later that day, wife barbara turnbull bought a batch of tickets at that same shop, with one of the tickets purchased also bearing, as hes husband, the cookie's recommended digits that were 10, 24, 27, 29, 40, and 46.

the story doesn't tell though if there were two different cookies or if scotty & barbara got he numbers from the same slip of paper ...