Dozens of people recently got an extra-special dessert with their Chinese food: a winning lottery number.
A record 110 players won $500,000 and $100,000 prizes in Wednesday's Powerball (search) drawing, most of whom apparently used the numbers included in a fortune-cookie message. Ordinarily the multistate lottery expects only four tickets to win at the Match 5 prize level.
Several winners in a half-dozen states revealed that they got the winning number from a fortune cookie (search), said Doug Orr, marketing director with the West Des Moines-based Multi-State Lottery Association (search), which operates Powerball.
"With the systems reporting so many plays of 22-28-32-33-39 and Powerball 40, it is likely that most drew their luck from that very fortunate cookie," Orr said.
The cookie was one number away from winning the $25.5 million jackpot: The winning numbers were: 22, 28, 32, 33 and 39, with 42 being the Powerball.
Tickets that match the first five numbers but miss the Powerball win $100,000 each. There were 89 of those.
There were 21 Power Play Match 5 winners. Those players matched the first five numbers and missed the Powerball, but placed an extra dollar on the Power Play number, a multiplier number from two to five. Last night's multiplier was five, meaning that the $100,000 prize for matching all five numbers increased to $500,000.
According to the Powerball Web site, odds of winning the grand prize are 1 in 120,526,770, and odds of winning the $100,000 prize are about 1 in 2,939,677. Before Wednesday, the most tickets to win second-tier Powerball prizes in one drawing was 91, on Aug. 25, 2001.
One ticket, bought by a South Pittsburg, Tenn., family, had all six winning numbers to win the jackpot.