An American man certainly had his luck come in as he won a Powerball jackpot of $344 million after playing the numbers from a fortune cookie.
The ‘fortune cookie’ has never been more appropriately named.
Charles W. Jackson Jr. has won some small amounts playing the lottery in the past but he has his granddaughter to thank for the fortune cookie which helped him win the jackpot.
She got the cookie from a Vietnamese restaurant and passed it on to her grandfather, who had been playing the numbers listed on the slip inside for years.
On Tuesday (June 4), the 66-year-old saw looked at his ticket and realised it was his lucky day – though at first he only thought he’d won $50,000. I say ‘only’; I’d still be over the moon to win that much money.
He called his wife to tell her the good news and set off to claim his prize, but it wasn’t long before he double-checked his ticket and realised his win was actually much bigger than he’d first thought.
Speaking at a news conference after accepting his winnings at the N.C. Education Lottery headquarters, Charles recalled the moment his success dawned on him.
According to WRAL, he explained:
I said, ‘Dang, I got them all.’
You play to win, but you don’t ever expect to win.
The winner didn’t watch the news, so he had to Google how much the Powerball was worth – and it turned out to be $344.6 million. The retired Cumberland County retailer chose to take a lump sum worth $223 million, and after tax will take home $158 million.
Obviously the tax is annoying, but you can’t really complain with a final amount like that, can you?
The 66-year-old plans to donate some of the money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Wounded Warrior Project, and he also said he’d follow through on a deal he made with his brother promising to hand over $1 million if one of them ever won the lottery.
He told the news conference he hoped the money wouldn’t change him too much, and insisted he’d still be happy wearing his jeans – though ‘maybe newer ones’.
Charles added he might travel to Vietnam with his wife, and said:
It still hasn’t come over me yet, how much — all that money.
If the money is proving too much for Charles I’d be more than willing to take some off his hands!
He bought his ticket at a store called Carlie C’s, where he’s purchased lottery tickets before. The store is eligible to receive a $50,000 retailer incentive award for selling the winning ticket.
The retired retailer said of the employees:
I’m glad they’re happy, too, because they’re nice people.
Charles reportedly won the largest jackpot ever in North Carolina involving a single ticket.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.