Saturday, October 07, 2006

Fortune Cookie Fortune

Numbers recommended by a fortune cookie resulted in a lottery win.

When the results began coming in from the 30 March 2005 Powerball drawing, lottery officials suspected fraud was underway.

While there had been only one winner of the $13.8 million jackpot, a record 110 players were claiming second prizes of either $100,000 or $500,000 (depending on whether they'd paid an extra dollar for the Power Play option that multiplies a win) for having matched the first five of the six numbers drawn.

Normally the lottery, which is held across 29 states, pays out only about four or five second-place prizes.

Having 110 claimants of second-place money appeared highly suspect. Yet it turned out there had been no chicanery afoot — the unexpected result had been just the way the cookie crumbled.

The roughly one-in-three-million combination of 22, 28, 32, 33, and 39 had been selected by so many hopeful lotto players because it had been the "lucky numbers" given to them in their fortune cookies.

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