$344 million Powerball winner reveals the secret of his lottery ticket numbers selection

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Good fortune followed Charles W. Jackson Jr. on Saturday when he won the US Powerball jackpot.

The 66-year-old retiree from Raleigh, North Carolina, discovered on Tuesday that he won the $344.6 million Powerball jackpot, the largest prize in the state's history.

The secret to his good fortune? He used numbers from a fortune cookie given to him by his stepdaughter a couple of years ago who was 6 at the time, reported the News & Observer.

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He had played those same five numbers in both Powerball and Mega Millions ever since, making changes to the power ball numbers ‘every now and then.’

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And it worked. Jackson bought the only winning ticket last week that matched all six numbers: 6, 15, 34, 45, 52 and the Powerball 8.

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Jackson initially thought he had won just $50,000 and was heading to Raleigh to collect, but looked again and saw he’d won a lot more.

“I said, ‘Dang, I got them all,’” he said at the news conference.

He also said he had to find the jackpot amount on Google because he doesn’t watch television news. Once he did, he told his wife, “You ain’t going to believe this — I got it all.”

He will take the lump-sum payout option of $223 million, which after state and federal taxes will net him $158 million in pocket.

Jackson was clearly still a bit shocked when he appeared at N.C. lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday night.

“It hasn’t washed completely over me yet,. I don’t know what to do with most of it,” he said.

He said that he had said a prayer and told God that if he ever won the lottery that he would give $1 million to three charities.

So he decided to donate money to these charities — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children and the Wounded Warrior Project.

And he said he would take a trip to Vietnam, where his wife was born.

Jackson bought he lucky ticket at Carlie C's grocery store in Hope Mills, outside Fayetteville.

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The lucky ticket was sold at Carlie C's grocery store in Hope Mills, outside Fayetteville.

Jackson said he usually plays the lottery at the Carlie C’s, who will receive $50,000 retailer incentive award for selling the winning ticket.

“I’m glad they’re happy, because they’re nice people,” he said.

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The North Carolina Education State Lottery headquarters at 2728 Capital Blvd, Raleigh. PHOTO: Google

The win also will pay off for Jackson’s brother. He said they had a deal that if one of them won the lottery they’d give the other one $1 million.

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“I called him when I got here and said, ‘Are you ready to be a millionaire?’” Jackson said.

His brother initially wondered if Jackson was kidding, but had a quick response after realizing he was serious.

Watch this information about claiming a Powerball prize from the North Carolina Lottery. VIDEO: CBS17

“He said, ’But I’m your only brother, can’t you give me $2 million?” Jackson said.

“I hope it don’t change me a lot. I’m going to try not to change my life. I’m still going to wear jeans. Maybe newer ones.”

The winning US Powerball draw on June 1, 2019 for the $344.6 million jackpot.

The Powerball jackpot was previously won in Wisconsin in the March 27 drawing. A single winner claimed that jackpot worth $768.4 million – the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.