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NC Education Lottery: Numbers from a Fortune Cookie Produce $500K Prize

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**RALEIGH –**When Ernesto Sorzano picked up his favorite Chinese take-out of fried rice and shrimp recently, he also got a Fortune cookie with a set of lucky numbers that won him a $500,000 Powerball prize.

“That was a good investment,” Sorzano said.

His Fortune cookie numbers matched four of the white balls and the Powerball in Saturday’s drawing, winning him $50,000. Because he bought a $3 Power Play ticket, his prize jumped ten times to $500,000 when the 10X multiplier was drawn.

Sorzano, who is from Estero, Florida, claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Monday and took home $353.751 after required federal and state tax withholdings. He said he is moving to Huntersville and plans to use the money to buy a new home.

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

Sorzano’s ticket, purchased at the 7-Eleven on Sam Furr Road in Huntersville, was one of three bought in North Carolina that matched four white balls and the Powerball in Saturday’s drawing. The other $3 Power Play ticket, worth $500,000, was purchased through Online Play on the lottery’s website. A $2 ticket, worth $50,000, was purchased at the QuikTrip on Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis.

No one won Saturday’s Powerball jackpot. The jackpot 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.

Players can buy Powerball tickets through Online Play on the lottery’s website,, with the NC Lottery Official Mobile App, or at any lottery retail location.

Draw games such as Powerball make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $725 million a year for education. For details on how $60.5 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Mecklenburg County last year, visit and click on the “Impact” section.