The best part of every meal at a Chinese restaurant is cracking open the fortune cookie. This rings especially true for Charles “Chuck” Svatos, who won the lottery jackpot after receiving an encouraging message on the inside of a sugary vanilla crisp. It said: “You will discover an unexpected treasure.”
On October 1, a few days after Svatos read his fortune, he stopped into Gasby’s Convenience Store in North Liberty, Iowa, for a coffee and lottery tickets. After returning to the store a week later, the 92-year-old found he’d won $25,000 a year in a game called “Lucky For Life.” The Iowa Lottery says the odds of winning the game’s top prize are one in 30.8 million.
“I never remembered a fortune cookie being that accurate. I never believed in them,” Svatos told KWWL.com. Instead of collecting his treasure year-by-year, Svatos chose to take a one-time payout of $390,000. The retired dairy worker plans to use his winnings to travel to Hawaii and Switzerland. As for the famous fortune — it remains in Svatos’ wallet as a token of good luck.
For more heart-happy stories, check out the most inspiring food stories of 2017.