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Lucky numbers from a Fortune cookie produce a $500,000 prize

February 23, 2021 Posted by NC Lottery at 10:31 AM

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.


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2/23/2021 08:18 - Gloria C.

Congratulations to you and I wish you many more wonderful wins.

2/23/2021 06:41 - Dana A.

Wow...Congrats! But when did PB start having a 10X multiplier?!?!NC Lottery
Hi Dana, great question! The 10x multiplier is available when the jackpot is at or below $150 million.

2/23/2021 05:33 - Ellyn H.

CONGRATULATIONS on your win and Always Count your Blessings!!! I too play several numbers I got from Fortune Cookie so hopefully your Blessings will run over to me and others

2/23/2021 03:43 - Casselle W.

Congrats on such an awesome blessing. I play the same numbers I got from a mystic drink top from back in the 80's. One day!!! Pay it forward and continued winnings for you. Stay safe.

2/23/2021 02:38 - Harold w.

Are there any more $25.00 tickets coming like the Extreme Cash? ThanksNC Lottery
Hi Harold, we have a new $30 ticket planned for March. We will be announcing the details soon so stay tuned!

2/23/2021 12:54 - Diamond Z.


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