Hows this for good fortune? North Carolina man wins $344.6M Powerball with numbers from a fortune cookie
Neighbors of lottery winners tend to go bankrupt
A North Carolina man discovered on Tuesday that he won a $344.6 million Powerball jackpot, the largest prize in the state’s history.
Charles W. Jackson Jr., a 66-year-old retiree from Raleigh, said that when he called his wife that morning to tell her about his victory, he didn’t realize how much he had won.
“I said, ‘I think I won at least $50,000,'” Jackson said during a press conference at the North Carolina lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
Soon after, Jackson realized he had actually matched all six numbers to win the grand prize.
“So then I called her back and said, ‘Look, I won the whole thing,'” Jackson said. “She said, ‘Well, how much is the whole thing?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, I just played. I don’t know what it is.’ And she said, ‘Google it.'”
The secret to his good fortune? Numbers from a fortune cookie his stepdaughter got a couple of years ago at the age of 6, according to The News & Observer.
Jackson said he has played those same five numbers in Powerball and Mega Millions every week since, occasionally making changes to the sixth number.
The odds of choosing all six numbers correctly and winning the jackpot are about 1 in 292.2 million.
“I never expected to win,” Jackson said. “I just got lucky.”
He opted to receive his winnings in a lump-sum payout of $233 million. After state and federal taxes are subtracted, he’ll walk away with $158 million, some of which he plans to donate to three charities — the Wounded Warrior Project, Shriners Hospital for Children and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Besides that and a trip to Vietnam, where his wife is from, he doesn’t have any extravagant plans for his newfound fortune.
“I hope it don’t change me a lot,” Jackson said. “I’m going to try not to change my life. I’m still going to wear jeans. Maybe newer ones.”