NC retiree who won lottery jackpot used numbers from fortune cookie

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Cumberland County man came forward Tuesday to claim the $344.6 million Powerball jackpot, the largest in North Carolina’s history.

Charles Jackson Jr., 66, won the jackpot with the same five numbers he's played every week for years, which he got from a fortune cookie, making changes to the sixth number every now and then.

At first, Jackson thought he matched five of the six numbers and told his wife he won $50,000.

He, then, realized that he matched all of the numbers, which were drawn Saturday night.

“Then I called her back and said, ‘Look, I won the whole thing,’” Jackson said. “She said, ‘How much is the whole thing?’"

Jackson said he told her, “I don't know, I just played. I don't know what it is.”

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His wife gave him some important instructions after that.

“She said, ‘Just Google it,’” Jackson said at the lottery office in Raleigh in front of news cameras.

That’s when Jackson realized he won the big one.

Jackson called his brother to tell him he was giving him $1 million, but his brother didn’t believe him.

“He said, ‘Don't mess with me,’” Jackson said. “Now, some lady walked by and said, ‘Congrats.’ He said, ‘I heard that, so you did win it.’ He said, ‘I'm your only brother. Can't you give me $2 million?’”

Jackson said he also plans to donate some of the winnings to charity, including St. Jude's Children’s Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Wounded Warrior Project.

He’s taking home the lump sum payment of $223 million.

Jackson is retired and owned a military store for years near Fort Bragg.

The ticket was sold in Hope Mills.