Cornelius man uses numbers from fortune cookie to win $4M in lottery

A retired U.S. Army veteran from Cornelius won $4 million playing the lottery after using numbers from a fortune cookie he got at a Charlotte restaurant, lottery officials announced Friday.

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“I don’t usually play my fortune cookie numbers but I tried them on a whim,” Gabriel Fierro said about his Mega Millions winnings.

He said the fortune cookie came from the Red Bowl Asian Bistro off Mount Holly-Huntersville Road in Charlotte. Fierro eats at the restaurant with his wife about once a week, he said.

Fierro served 32 years in the Army and retired as a master sergeant.

Fierro bought his Mega Millions ticket using Online Play and added $1 to make it a Megaplier ticket to multiply any win. He matched all five white balls to win $1 million and the prize quadrupled to $4 million when the 4X Megaplier hit. His $4 million prize became the largest win in the history of Online Play in North Carolina.

“I got an email in the morning, and I just stared at it dumbfounded,” Fierro said. “I took it and showed it to my wife, and she thought it was an April Fool’s joke or maybe a scam.”

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After the win sunk in, the celebration began. “We started running around the house,” Fierro said, “screaming like a bunch of banshees.”

Fierro, 60, is retired as a disabled combat veteran after serving in Iraq.

He went to the lottery headquarters on Thursday to collect his prize.

He took home $2,840,401 after federal and state taxes.

[ALSO READ: ‘I was just shaking’: Charlotte woman wins $1 million in lottery]

He said he planned to invest most of that money and had one small purchase in mind.

“We are going to buy some champagne on the way home,” Fierro laughed.

Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot climbed to $376 million.

(Watch the video below: Man who bought kids chocolate milk wins $1M jackpot in Virginia lottery)

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