Michigan Man Wins Lottery Jackpot Using Numbers From Fortune Cookie

This marks the second time this month a lottery winner has credited a fortune cookie for his windfall.

A Michigan man who won more than $300,000 in the lottery says he got his lucky numbers from a fortune cookie.

The 61-year-old Ypsilanti man, who has asked to remain anonymous, netted $351,180 from the Michigan Lottery on Friday. He told officials her got the winning digits for the Fantasy 5 drawing, 04-11-21-28-38, are ones he's been playing for years—ever since he found them in his fortune.

"I've been playing these numbers for a long time," the man said. "I don't remember when I got that fortune cookie, but I do remember thinking the numbers looked lucky, so I went with it."

fortune cookie
A Michigan man won more than $300,000 in the state lottery using numbers he found in a fortune cookie. Getty Images

He bought his winning ticket at the Express Mart Party Shopp on West Michigan Avenue.

"My daughter and granddaughter were over Saturday morning and we celebrated my granddaughter passing her driving test. After they left, I checked my ticket and got incredibly nervous when I saw I matched all five numbers. I had to convince everyone I was the winner because no one would believe me."

After picking up his winnings at Lottery headquarters on Monday, the winner said he plans on using the funds to pay some bills, take a trip and help family members.

"I'm probably on the hook for a new car for my granddaughter. This is a lot of money and I've got to do the right thing with it."

Five Thirty-Eight found that using some combination of numbers from a fortune has a slightly better chance of winning the lottery than random digits. Getty Images

Playing the numbers from your fortune cookie may not be as crazy as it sounds: Earlier this month, a retired North Carolina man won a $344.6 million Powerball using numbers from his fortune. Charles W. Jackson Jr. says his granddaughter brought back a fortune cookie for him from a Vietnamese restaurant and he decided to play the numbers written the cookie's paper.

In 2015, A Florida man won a $10 million lottery jackpot using numbers he found in a fortune cookie.

And in 2005, 110 people matched five of the six Powerball numbers, choosing their numbers—22, 28, 32, 33, 39—from a cookie.

Wondering if there was something to this, Five Thirty-Eight looked at the numbers on more than a thousand fortune cookies in 2017, comparing them to the digits in 20 years of Powerball drawings. It turns out the cookies' numbers did slightly better than random digits

"Maybe the lucky numbers were added into the fortune cookies after those Powerball wins," wrote Five Thirty-Eight's Walter Hickey. "Or, according to Occam's razor, play several thousand lotteries with several thousand combinations, and you'll hit a winner eventually."