Ronnie Martin, of Long Pond, used numbers from a fortune cookie to win the cash in July's massive $543 million Powerball drawing.
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Martin drives from his home to New Jersey for work every day, and he regularly stops at the same gas station to pick up lottery tickets. He likes the numbers he found inside the cookie years ago and decided to stick with them, and it has now paid off after he matched all five numbers minus the Powerball.
The day after he purchased three tickets, Martin again stopped in the gas station to scan his tickets. When he placed one of the tickets under the scanner, the scanner displayed the message, "See clerk."
Martin complained to the clerk, Gary, that the scanner wouldn't show him any information. Because Martin is a regular, Gary recognized him and knew immediately that he must be the winner of the $1 million prize from the previous night.
"You've got the million dollar ticket!" Gary exclaimed.
Martin didn't believe him and asked him to scan the ticket to be sure.
Gary insisted he knew it was the million dollar ticket before scanning it, showing Martin the five numbers in a row that matched the drawing perfectly.
Still, Martin thought Gary was just messing with him and wanted to see the ticket scanned, just to be sure. When Gary scanned the ticket and showed Martin the display indicating $1 million, Martin said it finally sunk in and he believed he actually was a big winner. And with a sigh of relief, he said, "Alright, let's get the form out."
Martin and his wife, Shirley, will use the prize money to pay off their house and current bills before putting the rest toward their savings.
The winning ticket was purchased at US Gas on 423 Blairstown Road, Hope, in Warren County.
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