Fortune Cookie Lottery Win

Did a husband and wife each win a lottery by playing numbers recommended by a fortune cookie?

Claim:   A husband and wife each won a lottery by playing numbers recommended by a fortune cookie.


TRUE


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.

Scotty

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


Sources:




    Austin American-Statesman.   “Husband, Wife Holding 2 of 3 Winning Tickets.”

    27 March 1995   (p. B3).

    The Houston Chronicle.   “What a Fortune Cookie.”

    31 March 1995   (p. A26).


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