Ronnie and Shirley Miller
Photo: NJ Lottery

Most of us have had the experience of opening a fortune cookie, reading the enclosed fortune, and then tossing it aside and never thinking about it again. Those “fortunes” usually include some sort of advice or platitude and what are supposed to be your lucky numbers.

We don’t really pay attention to the lucky numbers either, but maybe we should.

Ronnie Martin of Long Pond, Pa., regularly plays the lottery during his commute to New Jersey for work. He always plays the same numbers, which he found on one of those fortune cookie slips. In July, playing those numbers paid off. Martin won $1 million on a Mega Millions ticket.

Ronnie didn’t initially realize he had won. He went into the store to scan his tickets, and the lottery machine told him to “See clerk.” Thinking something was wrong, he complained to the clerk on duty—Gary—that the machine wasn’t telling him if he won or not.

“You’ve got the million dollar ticket!” Gary told him.

Martin asked Gary to scan the ticket again to be sure, and Gary obliged, showing him that the machine said he had won $1 million.

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Once Martin was convinced, he said “Let’s get the forms out!”

Martin told the New Jersey Lottery that he and his wife, Shirley, plan to use the money to pay off their house and other bills. They will put whatever is left into their savings.

As another stroke of luck would have it, Martin won that jackpot on my birthday, July 24.

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I guess we all need to start playing our fortune cookie numbers and my birthday.