Lottery payoff of $50,000 for Virginia woman thanks to fortune cookie numbers

A Virginia woman experienced a series of extremely fortunate events that led to her recent 5-figure Powerball win — starting with a literal fortune cookie.

Tierra Barley, of Henrico, Virginia, plays the Powerball lottery game with numbers she found in a fortune cookie, she told the Virginia Lottery's website. 

On May 8, five of those numbers came up in that day's Powerball drawing — netting her a $50,000 win. 


FILE - Fortune cookie. (Photo By: Aaron Showalter/NY Daily News via Getty Images)


But before the drawing, Barley nearly lost her ticket, said the Virginia Lottery.

After she bought the ticket at a supermarket in Henrico, she accidentally left it in the store, she said.

When she returned to try to find her ticket, Barley found someone else buying Powerball tickets.

"Turns out, that person was helpful in returning Ms. Barley's ticket," said the Virginia Lottery.

On May 8, the numbers drawn in the Powerball were 7-41-43-44-51, with a Powerball number of 5, said the Virginia Lottery. 

Barley matched four of the five numbers and the Powerball. 

The Powerball is drawn three times a week, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, said the Virginia Lottery. 

The current Powerball jackpot is $120 million. 

The chances of winning any prize in the Powerball are 1 in 25. Prizes start at $4. 

The Virginia Lottery was established in 1987, after Virginians voted in favor of creating a state-operated lottery. 

The first tickets were sold the following year, said the Virginia Lottery's website.

Since 1999, the Virginia Lottery's profits have supported K-12 public education in the commonwealth, said its website.

In 2023, this amounted to more than $867 million that went to public education in the state. 

This was about 10% of the commonwealth's budget for K-12 schools, said the Virginia Lottery's website. 

These funds are distributed throughout Virginia's counties. 

Henrico County, where Barley lives, received more than $30 million from the Virginia Lottery last year, the site noted.

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