Man scores $500,000 Powerball prize using fortune cookie numbers

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — When Ernesto Sorzano picked up his favorite Chinese takeout of fried rice and shrimp recently, he had no idea it would lead to a $500,000 Powerball prize.

A fortune cookie came with his meal, and he used the set of numbers contained within the treat when he purchased his winning ticket at the 7-Eleven on Sam Furr Road in Huntersville.

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.

“That was a good investment,” Sorzano said.

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.

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

Sorzano’s ticket 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.