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Tue, June 18

Grandfather wins $344 million using numbers from granddaughter's fortune cookie

Charles W. Jackson Jr. won a $344.6 million North Carolina lottery prize after he purchased a Powerball ticket using numbers from a fortune cookie given to him from his granddaughter. (North Carolina Education lottery)

Charles W. Jackson Jr. won a $344.6 million North Carolina lottery prize after he purchased a Powerball ticket using numbers from a fortune cookie given to him from his granddaughter. (North Carolina Education lottery)

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man who says he based his Powerball entry on a fortune cookie he got from his granddaughter now has a fortune to celebrate.

WRAL in Raleigh reports retired retailer Charles W. Jackson Jr. stepped forward at North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters on Tuesday to claim last weekend’s $344.6 million jackpot.

Jackson told lottery officials the winning numbers came from a fortune cookie his granddaughter got at a Vietnamese restaurant. He chose the $223 million lump sum payment and said he would donate some of it to several charities and give $1 million to his brother to make good on a deal they made.

Jackson initially thought he had won just $50,000 and was heading to Raleigh to collect, but looked again and saw he’d won a lot more.

“I said, ‘Dang, I got them all,’” he said at the news conference.

He also said he had to find the jackpot amount on Google because he doesn’t watch television news. Once he did, he told his wife, “You ain’t going to believe this — I got it all.”

Jackson said he hopes the windfall doesn’t change him.

He added, “I’m still going to wear my jeans — maybe newer ones.”

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