North Carolina veteran wins $4M lottery prize with fortune cookie numbers

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Talk about good fortune.

According to WSOC-TV, retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gabriel Fierro, 60, of Cornelius, North Carolina, won a $4 million lottery prize by playing the lucky numbers from his fortune cookie.

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Fierro, who dines weekly with his wife at Charlotte’s Red Bowl Asian Bistro, said he decided “on a whim” to play the numbers in Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, the North Carolina Education Lottery reported in a news release Friday. His ticket, purchased through Online Play, ended up matching five numbers for a $1 million prize plus a 4X Megaplier, which quadrupled his winnings.

When Fierro first learned of his win via email, he and his wife thought they had been pranked or scammed, the news release said. But they soon realized it was time to celebrate.

“We started running around the house, screaming like a bunch of banshees,” said Fierro, who collected his prize – $2.8 million after federal and state tax withholdings – on Thursday.

Fierro added that after buying a small treat – some celebration champagne – he likely will invest the money, according to WSOC.

The next Mega Millions drawing, set for Tuesday, is for an estimated $396 million jackpot.

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