Virginia Lottery $50K Winner Used Fortune Cookie Numbers 

A woman in Virginia hit a $50,000 lottery win earlier this month using numbers she got from a fortune cookie. 

Tierra Barley of Henrico, Virginia, was given lottery numbers on a fortune cookie paper several years ago. She has used them on her weekly Virginia Lottery ticket purchases ever since, she told the Virginia Lottery last week. 

The winning numbers in that week’s draw were 7-41-43-44-51 and the Powerball 5. Barley matched four of those numbers and the Powerball to claim her prize.

This month, that decision finally paid off. Barley purchased the winning ticket from the Varina Store Supermarket on Darbytown Road in suburban Richmond, across the city from her Henrico home. 

However, she can count herself even luckier to have won anything, as she nearly left her ticket in the store. Barley had gotten as far as getting into her car before she realized her error and returned. Another customer had already picked up her ticket, but was happy to return it to the rightful purchaser. 

Powerball Prizes 

Barley’s win may have been significant. But if she had matched just one more number, she would have won $112 million. The Powerball jackpot didn’t hit any winners that week or in the two draws since, and it currently stands at $131 million. 

Barley also could have won more, depending on how many others also hit five correct numbers. In Virginia, one other player hit five numbers on that draw for $50,000, but they have yet to come forward and claim their prize. 

The Powerball jackpot reset to $100 million in April, after Cheng “Charlie” Saephan of Portland, Oregon, hit the $1.36 billion top prize.

The odds of hitting the top Powerball jackpot for all six correct numbers are one in 292.2 million. Three billion fortune cookies are made around the world each year, with most of those in the U.S. We couldn’t find any research on how many of them have made lottery winners – so this could be a first. 

The year 2024 has also seen another U.S. lottery winner claim a mystical element to their win after hitting a substantially bigger prize. One woman in Michigan hit $500,000 on a scratch-off ticket hours after visiting a tarot card reader who told her she would come into money very soon. 

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