United States: Play the numbers found in the fortune cookie, win $ 4 million

from Andrea Marinelli

Not the first time this has happened: in 2005 the winners were 110 at the same time. The authorities thought it was a scam, but the cookies all came from the same New York factory

A man from North Carolina he won 4 million at the Mega Million, the American superenalotto, playing the numbers found inside a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant. I don’t usually play them, but I tried them this time, he told insiders at the North Carolina Education Lottery Gabriel Fierro, 60, a disabled veteran who dines at the same Chinese restaurant in Charlotte every week, the Red Bowl, along with his wife. This time, however, Fierro – who spent 32 years in the military – not only played the numbers online, but also added a dollar to turn the ticket into Megaplier: when the five numbers came out, on January 18, that single dollar quadrupled his winnings from 1 million to 4 million. I received an email in the morning, and looked at it puzzled, explained Fierro. I showed it to my wife and she thought it was a joke, and possibly a scam. But it was all true: after removing state and federal taxes, the Fierros received 2.8 million dollars.

Not the first time fortune cookies have lived up to their name, at least in the United States. In 2014, a New York woman won 2 million playing Powerball the numbers found on the Chinese restaurant card. I was surprised, but happy, said Emma Duvoll, 75, from the Bronx, who made $ 1.2 million after taxes. The most famous case, however, occurred on March 30, 2005, when 110 people across the United States – instead of the usual four or five – they won $ 100,000 each at the same time. At first it was thought to be a scam, or the effect of some TV show offering lucky sequences to viewers, but some of the lucky ones revealed that they simply played the numbers found in the fortune cookies, guessing five out of six: 22, 28, 32, 33, 39.

Investigating, they visited dozens of Chinese restaurants and distributors, Powerball officials discovered that those cookies all came from the same place: Wonton Food, a Long Island City, Queens factory that produced 4 million a day and that cost the Multi-State Lottery Association an extra $ 19 million out of the total 25 he had, sown across half the country, from New Mexico to Rhode Island. They are ours, confirmed Derrick Wong, owner of Wonton Food at the time. We have chosen the numbers at random. We write them by hand on a piece of paper, fold it and put it in a basket. The same combination then ended up in thousands of cookies every day. Soon we won’t do it again, Mr. Wong added later. We will use a computer, more efficient.

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