Claim: A husband and wife each won a lottery by playing numbers recommended by a fortune cookie.
Origins: The 30 March 2005 Powerball drawing wasn't the only time a fortune cookie had been successfully used to garner a lottery windfall. A decade earlier, two of the three winners who split a $4 million Lotto Texas jackpot had used numbers suggested to them by a slip of paper found inside a fortune cookie.
Yet there was still more to the story than its mere cookieness. Those two biscuit-blessed winners were married to one another.
Turnbull purchased his ticket for the 25 March 1995 drawing in Mission, Texas, at United Drive In, selecting as his numbers the cookie-recommended combination 10, 24, 27, 29, 40, and 46. Later that day, wife Barbara Turnbull bought a batch of tickets on the same drawing at that same shop, with one of the tickets purchased also bearing that same set of digits.
Both elected to take a lump-sum settlement of $814,473 (as apparently did the third winner) rather than wait for the full $1,330,000 that would have been paid to each of them over time, which meant the Turnbulls snapped up a fast $1,628,946 for heeding the same cookie.
The double purchase worked one further bit of magic. Given that the retail outlet vending a winning ticket gets 1 percent of the proceeds, the Turnbulls' both having played the lotto at United Drive In netted that shop $26,600.
Barbara "well named shop, that" Mikkelson
Originally published: 30 September 2006
Last updated: 12 January 2015
Austin American-Statesman. "Husband, Wife Holding 2 of 3 Winning Tickets."
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.