HomeNewsRetired Army Sergeant Wins $4M Mega Millions Lottery Using Fortune Cookie Numbers

Retired Army Sergeant Wins $4M Mega Millions Lottery Using Fortune Cookie Numbers

by Madison Miller
Photo Illustration by: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Maybe you should think about pulling out that fortune cookie you threw away last night after getting take-out. It may be surrounded by wet noodles and coffee grounds, but it could be the ticket to millions in lottery winnings.

At least, this was the case for one person.

A North Carolina man decided to use the numbers he found on his fortune cookie to play the lottery. The result? Well, he’s $4 million richer now.

Gabriel Fierro is a retired marine sergeant that spent 32 years with the Army. He eventually returned as a disabled combat veteran after some time spent over in Iraq. The other night Fierro decided to get food from a local Red Bowl restaurant located in Charlotte. It’s a restaurant he often frequents alongside his wife.

He decided to pocket those numbers on the fortune cookie and used it for the $4 Multiplier Mega Millions ticket. It’s all a pretty amazingly surreal situation.

“I don’t usually play my fortune cookie numbers but I tried them on a whim,” the 60-year-old said to People. As it turns out, the whim was a million-dollar move. He bought the $3 ticket through Online Play. He also added the $1 to make it a Megaplier ticket. When he managed to get all five white balls correct he won $1 million. Then, his Megaplier quadrupled that amount.

Celebrating a Massive Mega Millions Win

Now, this is the biggest Online Play lottery win in North Carolina.

Winning the lottery is obviously hard to do and exceptionally rare. So, what do you do when you realize those winning numbers are clenched between your fingers?

For Fierro, he shared the lottery win with his wife and celebrated.

“I got an email in the morning and I just stared at it dumbfounded. I took it and showed it to my wife and she thought it was an April Fool’s joke or maybe a scam … We started running around the house screaming like a bunch of banshees,” he said.

After tax withdrawals, Fierro’s lump sum total was $2,840,401. He shared he would be investing most of it, but some would be left out to keep the celebration going. Notably, he’s going to get a really stellar bottle of champagne on the way home.

Lottery Win Goes to Spam Folder

Your spam folder is likely filled with all kinds of messages starting with “Congratulations!”

The catch is that the only thing you’re going to get from following that link is a nasty virus. One woman luckily chanced a look into her spam folder and found something incredible.

Laura Spears was digging through her junk email to find a missing email. Then, she happened to find the message informing her that she had won the lottery. Spears had the winning ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot.

“I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It’s all still so shocking to me that I really won $3 million!” she told the Michigan Lottery. Now, she won $1 million, which was also tripled by the Megaplier.

Spears is planning on retiring earlier and sharing those lottery winnings with her family.