Man hits NC Powerball prize thanks to fortune cookie with his fried rice and shrimp

A Florida man scored a big North Carolina Powerball prize with numbers he used from a fortune cookie that came with his fried rice and shrimp, NC lottery officials said Tuesday.

Ernesto Sorzano bought the winning $500,000 ticket at a 7-Eleven on Sam Furr Road in Huntersville, according to a lottery news release.

He beat odds of 1 in 913,000, according to the Powerball website.

“That was a good investment,” Sorzano told officials of his takeout order from a Chinese restaurant.

Sorzano matched four of the white balls and the Powerball in Saturday’s drawing, winning $50,000. But he bought a $3 Power Play ticket, meaning his prize jumped 10-fold to $500,000 when the 10X multiplier was drawn, according to the lottery.

He claimed his prize on Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh, netting $353,751 after taxes, officials said.

Sorzano, who is from Florida, said he is moving to Huntersville and will use the money to buy a new home.

“Unbelievable,” he said. “I’m just super happy that my dreams came true.”

Sorzano’s was among three winning tickets bought in North Carolina that matched four white balls and the Powerball in the drawing, officials aid.

Someone bought a $3 Power Play ticket worth $500,000 through Online Play on the lottery website., according to the lottery.

And a $2 ticket worth $50,000 was purchased at the QuikTrip on Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis.

No one won Saturday’s Powerball jackpot, which climbed to $90 million as an annuity or $64.2 million cash for Wednesday’s drawing.

The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.


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