A veteran used numbers from a fortune cookie to play the lottery. Now he's $4 million richer.

·2 min read

The numbers inside a fortune cookie indeed brought fortune to a retired Army veteran who is now $4 million richer.

Gabriel Fierro of Cornelius, North Carolina, visited Red Bowl restaurant in Charlotte and bought a $3 Mega Millions ticket after with an added dollar to make it a Megaplier ticket to multiply the winnings, according to a news release from the NC Education Lottery.

“I don’t usually play my fortune cookie numbers but I tried them on a whim,” he said.

On Jan. 18, his numbers matched all five white balls and he made history by having the largest win in the history of Online Play in North Carolina after the Megaplier brought his grand winnings to $4 million.

“I got an email in the morning and I just stared at it dumbfounded,” Fierro told NC Education Lottery. “I took it and showed it to my wife and she thought it was an April Fool’s joke or maybe a scam.”

When the couple realized it was not a scam, the two ran around the house “screaminglike a bunch of banshees.”

Fierro, 60, spent 32 years in the Army and retired as a disabled combat veteran after touring in Iraq, according to the release.

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He took home $2,840,401 after taxes and said he planned to invest most of the money, but had to make one purchase after picking up his winnings.

“We are going to buy some champagne on the way home,” Fierro said.

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Last week, someone in California won the Mega Millions jackpot-winning ticket worth $421 million. People who play the lottery are more likely to become president, get struck by lightning, or have conjoined twins before winning a Mega Millions jackpot.

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: North Carolina man wins lottery using numbers from fortune cookie