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Fortune cookie gives Florida player a lucky break

Mar 1, 2021, 2:14 pm

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PowerballPowerball: Fortune cookie gives Florida player a lucky breakRating:

Lottery player wins big after using numbers from a popular paper slip

By Kate Northrop

A fortune cookie lived up to its name after a Florida resident won a $500,000 Powerball prize in the North Carolina Lottery after using the numbers written on the back of the paper slip.

Ernesto Sorzano got to enjoy a nice meal consisting of his favorite take-out of shrimp and fried rice and an impressive $500,000 windfall to boot, thanks to the numbers printed on the little paper slip inside his fortune cookie.

It's not the first time a player won big after taking inspiration from their fortune cookies. In 2015, another Florida man won a $10 million jackpot after playing the lucky numbers on the slip.

The drawing he participated in took place on Feb. 20 for the $81.3 jackpot, which rolled to $94.1 million after there was no winner. However, he did manage to match four of the white balls and the Powerball to take home a prize worth $50,000.

The Powerball numbers drawn on Feb. 20 were 4, 8, 22, 32, and 58, with Powerball number 4.

Turns out Sorzano was feeling very fortunate with the numbers he chose to play. He upgraded his lottery ticket to a Power Play ticket for $3 and multiplied his prize ten times when the 10X multiplier was drawn.

"That was a good investment," the lucky winner told the Lottery.

A successful 10X multiplier play is rare because it is the least likely to be drawn out of a pool of Power Play numbers in the Powerball game, plus there are restrictions in place that limit the multiplied prize value when the jackpot rolls to a certain amount. According to USA Mega, the 10X Power Play is only available when the jackpot is $150 million or less.

Sorzano was visiting North Carolina when he purchased his winning ticket at the 7-Eleven convenience store on Sam Furr Road in Huntersville. He currently resides in Estero, Florida and plans on moving to Huntersville in the future. He says that his prize will help pay for a new home there.

"Unbelievable," the winner said in a press release. "I'm just super happy that my dreams came true."

After claiming his prize at Lottery headquarters in Raleigh last week, he took home $353,751 after taxes.

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12 comments. Last comment 2 months ago by winterhug.
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Simpsonville
United States
Member #163182
January 22, 2015
2523 Posts
Offline

Chalk up another one for the NCEL.

 

Lucky guy, leaving FL and winning in his new state!

 

I've got a couple of Fortune cookie #'s lying on this desk...they haven't paid yet.

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    141441 Posts
    Offline

    Party Congrats to the Lucky Winner! Party

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      25
      Dr.President Elect
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81738
      October 28, 2009
      84676 Posts
      Offline

      Nice job, congrats to the lucky guy. Party

      Type Loving every minute of it.

        Avatar
        Blue Bell,Pa
        United States
        Member #156241
        June 12, 2014
        38 Posts
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        Does anybody know what the numbers on the slip were?

          Avatar
          Chasing $ Millions.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136471
          December 12, 2012
          6574 Posts
          Offline

          Does anybody know what the numbers on the slip were?

          Email him and ask : ErnestoSorzano@gmail.com

           * Voice of Reason *   

           

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
            Member #32651
            February 14, 2006
            9144 Posts
            Online

            Does anybody know what the numbers on the slip were?

            The Powerball numbers drawn on Feb. 20 were 4, 8, 22, 32, and 58, with Powerball number 4.

            Turns out Sorzano was feeling very fortunate with the numbers he chose to play. He upgraded his lottery ticket to a Power Play ticket for $3 and multiplied his prize ten times when the 10X multiplier was drawn.

            It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

              Avatar
              Simpsonville
              United States
              Member #163182
              January 22, 2015
              2523 Posts
              Offline

              The Powerball numbers drawn on Feb. 20 were 4, 8, 22, 32, and 58, with Powerball number 4.

              Turns out Sorzano was feeling very fortunate with the numbers he chose to play. He upgraded his lottery ticket to a Power Play ticket for $3 and multiplied his prize ten times when the 10X multiplier was drawn.

              Myself and my Arizona LP friend each won $40 on that drawing for what that is worth!   Powerplay rocks and you guys watch and see that X10 Powerplay won't come in rest of the year!

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #136773
                December 18, 2012
                20 Posts
                Offline

                Does anybody know what the numbers on the slip were?

                What we do know is the five numbers that are on the fortune cookie slip are:8-22-32-58-(4) which was used as the "ball" number. I am sure the guy would not want to reveal the remaining number on the fortune cookie slip because he does not want anyone else using his full set of numbers, just in case they do hit for the full jackpot, then he would have to share the prize with whoever else play his numbers.

                Someone once bought a Powerball ticket and posted a photo of it online, showing that he/she bought a ticket for the huge lottery jackpot. I played the exact numbers and won $7. Imagine if it had been the jackpot, how many people would have had part of that jackpot?

                  KY Floyd's avatar - lysol avatar.jpg
                  NY
                  United States
                  Member #23834
                  October 16, 2005
                  4372 Posts
                  Offline

                  "he does not want anyone else using his full set of numbers"

                  Then he should stop playing numbers he got from a fortune cookie, because a lot of other people got cookies with the same set of numbers. The only question is how many people played those numbers, and for what game(s). There's a pretty good chance that other people also won the same prize but either they didn't tell  the lottery how they picked their numbers or the lottery didn't think they needed to have a press conference about it.

                  Nate Silver's website had an article about fortune cookies a few years ago. Among other things, they estimated that there  are between 1200 and 1600 total fortunes.  I suspect that's just for the company they got their cookies from, but it's possible that the fortune cookie industry collaborates so that each company doesn't have to come up with their  own fortunes. Based on their sample there were fewer "lucky numbers" than fortunes, but let's figure there are 10,000 different sets of numbers  spread across all of the roughly 3 billion fortune cookies made each year in the US. That would mean that, as an average, each set of numbers turns up in 300,000 different cookies each year.

                  They also checked their numbers against about 20 years worth of Powerball results, and found that if somebody had bought one ticket for every drawing using each set of numbers they would have spent $4.2 million on tickets and would have won $4.4 million. $1 million of that was from one particular drawing where a set of fortune cookie numbers matched the 5 regular balls, but not the power ball. Interestingly, even discounting that one drawing, the return on $4.2 million worth of tickets would till have been $3.4 million. It's not a winning bet, but it is better than the 50% total the lottery  pays out.

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #136773
                    December 18, 2012
                    20 Posts
                    Offline

                    "he does not want anyone else using his full set of numbers"

                    Then he should stop playing numbers he got from a fortune cookie, because a lot of other people got cookies with the same set of numbers. The only question is how many people played those numbers, and for what game(s). There's a pretty good chance that other people also won the same prize but either they didn't tell  the lottery how they picked their numbers or the lottery didn't think they needed to have a press conference about it.

                    Nate Silver's website had an article about fortune cookies a few years ago. Among other things, they estimated that there  are between 1200 and 1600 total fortunes.  I suspect that's just for the company they got their cookies from, but it's possible that the fortune cookie industry collaborates so that each company doesn't have to come up with their  own fortunes. Based on their sample there were fewer "lucky numbers" than fortunes, but let's figure there are 10,000 different sets of numbers  spread across all of the roughly 3 billion fortune cookies made each year in the US. That would mean that, as an average, each set of numbers turns up in 300,000 different cookies each year.

                    They also checked their numbers against about 20 years worth of Powerball results, and found that if somebody had bought one ticket for every drawing using each set of numbers they would have spent $4.2 million on tickets and would have won $4.4 million. $1 million of that was from one particular drawing where a set of fortune cookie numbers matched the 5 regular balls, but not the power ball. Interestingly, even discounting that one drawing, the return on $4.2 million worth of tickets would till have been $3.4 million. It's not a winning bet, but it is better than the 50% total the lottery  pays out.

                    I do agree with all that you have said but more often than not, most people who buy/get fortune cookies do not use the numbers on the back of the slip for their lottery numbers. They break the cookie open and read the fortune and throw the slip away with the cookie, sometimes eat the cookie...Everyone who eats fortune cookies do not play the lottery...

                      Avatar
                      100
                      New York, NY
                      United States
                      Member #140628
                      March 23, 2013
                      11061 Posts
                      Offline

                      Wow just like the movie!

                      What's with putting emails up

                      Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #136773
                        December 18, 2012
                        20 Posts
                        Offline

                        Wow just like the movie!

                        What's with putting emails up

                        Yes, it would have been nice if the lottery winner posted all six of his numbers that was on his fortune cookie slip but he was not obligated to do so. The story was posted just to let everyone know that, yes, one can win the lottery using numbers on the back of their fortune cookie slip. That was the nice and or do the right thing "as you put it"