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Columbia, SC (April 1, 2005): 81-year-old Marjorie Strait always knew her special “fortune cookie” numbers would bring her good tidings. But what she didn’t know is she would be among 110 other lottery players nationwide that matched five numbers in Powerball®- most of them who have come forward chose their numbers from a fortune cookie as well.

“It’s amazing,” said Strait. “I wish I had that Powerball, but my husband says not to be so greedy.”

Strait says she always plays $4 each time she plays. “I have my own special numbers (from the fortune cookie) and one quick pick.” Strait read the numbers in the local paper and thought she won $100,000.

“My husband didn’t believe me so I stopped by the store where I bought the ticket,” said Strait. “Even when I left the house, he didn’t believe me.”

It wasn’t until SCEL personnel repeatedly told her she won $500,000 and called Strait’s husband personally, did he finally believe her. “He wants to see the check.”

Of the 14 SCEL match five winners, eight chose the PowerPlay® option, which multiplies non-jackpot winnings up to five times. The PowerPlay® number was 5, meaning those players won $500,000. Strait chose the PowerPlay® feature.

Strait is one of five SCEL players to come forward to say they played their numbers based on a fortune cookie. Nationwide, more than a dozen lottery players have come forward with the same story.

South Carolina’s winning tickets were sold at the following locations:
$500,000- Parklane Amoco Food Shop, Columbia
$500,000- Zack’s Mini Mart, Myrtle Beach
$500,000- Reid’s #0677- New Ellenton
$500,000- Calloway’s Sports Bar, West Columbia
$500,000- Ehrhardt Service Center, Ehrhardt
$500,000- The Pantry #822, Columbia
$500,000- Ready Mart, Dillon
$500,000- Sunoco Coop #2632, Charleston
$100,000- Sav-Way#25, Dillon
$100,000- Kangaroo Express, Myrtle Beach
$100,000- Huntley Exterprises, Darlington
$100,000- Country Gas Market, Gaston
$100,000- Spinx#93, Simpsonville
$100,000- The Market Express, Hartsville

Strait says she would like to buy a new car and place the rest of the money in a savings account.

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