funny lucky birthday (?) numbers 4u

Fortune Cookie
Lucky Numbers:

Martin Fuentes is proof that it pays to be patient, to persevere and, of course, to listen to a mother who had a hunch about one particular fortune cookie.

The retired mailman from Des Plaines, Illinois, won a $200,000 jackpot prize by repeatedly playing the lucky numbers he found inside a fortune cookie three years ago while eating dinner with his mother.

"She knew that I liked to play the lotto and we were having takeout Chinese food, and as I'm cracking open a fortune cookie, she said, 'Well you should play these lucky numbers.' And I said OK, just for you, ma," Fuentes, 73, told ABC News of his mom, who died about a year ago at age 90.

Every single digit on Fuentes' fortuitous ticket matched all five winning numbers from the Nov. 19 Lucky Day Lotto evening drawing:
As for his plans, the father of two sons and daughters told ABC News today "everybody is going to get a little extra Christmas gift this year. All cash. I know they can use cash better than me going out and getting something."

He won't be winning again with those same numbers. "I still play," he said. "But I am not playing lucky lotto or the fortune cookie numbers, just regular lotto with my family's birthdays."

Fuentes purchased his Lucky Day Lotto ticket at a 7-Eleven in Des Plaines, according to a Illinois lottery statement.

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The winning ticket was also shared with one other individual, who bought their ticket at a tobacco store in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Each store will collect $2,000, or the equivalent of 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket, the Illinois Lottery said in a statement.

A fortune cookie is a crisp cookie usually made from flour, sugar, vanilla, and oil with a "fortune" wrapped inside. A "fortune" is a piece of paper with words of wisdom or a vague prophecy. The message inside may also include a Chinese phrase with translation or a list of lucky numbers used by some as lottery numbers, some of which have become actual lucky winner numbers.

Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants in the United States and some other countries, but are absent in China. The exact provenance of fortune cookies is unclear, though various immigrant groups in California claim to have popularized them in the early 20th century, basing their recipe on a traditional Japanese cracker. Fortune cookies have been summarized as being "introduced by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, but ultimately ... consumed by Americans."

Fortune Cookie + Lucky Number Machine

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How They Became "Chinese":

The person who invented the "Chinese" fortune cookie is up for debate. Several people have put their hand up, but I reckon only two claims are worth serious consideration: some people believe it was Kito Seiichi of the Fugetsu-do shop in LA, and others believe it was Hagiwara Makoto of SF's Japanese Tea Garden.

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Both men were Japanese immigrants and likely knew about fortune cookies and how to make them - but my money's on Hagiwara Makoto. As the story goes, he first made and served it alongside green tea in 1914. This modified, sweetened version was so popular that Hagiwara decided to get them made on a commercial scale. In 1918, Benkyodo stepped in to become the Japanese Tea Garden's exclusive supplier of fortune cookies. Descendants on both sides corroborate the other's story, which I think is as good as it'll get in terms of evidence.

Soon, several other bakeries began to make and sell fortune cookies; Umeya, for example, supplied them to both Japanese- and Chinese-owned restaurants. The bombing of Pearl Harbor really put a spanner in the works though. Japanese-Americans were sent away to internment camps, which basically meant the end of many Japanese businesses.

Now that the competition had been taken out, Chinese businesses experienced a huge boom. Chinese restaurants still served fortune cookies, of course, and people just began to think of them as a Chinese thing. There was a strong anti-Japanese sentiment at the time, so I really don't blame the Chinese for keeping mum and letting their customers believe what they wanted to believe.

In any case, although several Japanese bakeries did make a comeback after WWII, by that point fortune cookies were irrevocably Chinese. They were still as popular as ever, though: it was only a matter of time before it spread all over the US, and then all over the globe. Well, except for China, anyway. "Too American," apparently.

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"Being happy is less about how many problems you have and more about how many people love you."

**The Lucky Cookie**

Lena had always been a fan of fortune cookies. She liked the crunchy texture, the sweet taste, and the little messages inside. She collected them in a jar, hoping that one day they would come true.

She was having a bad day at work, dealing with rude customers and a demanding boss. She decided to treat herself to some Chinese takeout for lunch, and ordered her favorite dish: chicken and broccoli with fried rice. She also asked for an extra fortune cookie, just in case.

She opened the first cookie and read the message: "You will soon receive an unexpected gift." She smiled, wondering what it could be. Maybe a bonus from work, or a surprise visit from a friend. She opened the second cookie and read: "Your lucky numbers are 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42." She frowned, thinking that was a strange fortune. She didn't play the lottery, and she didn't believe in numerology. She tossed the paper aside and ate the cookie.

She finished her lunch and went back to work, feeling a bit better. She checked her phone and saw that her friend had texted her: "Hey, I have an extra ticket for the concert tonight. Wanna go?" She replied: "Yes, please! That sounds awesome!" She remembered the first fortune and thought: "Maybe this is the unexpected gift."

She met her friend at the venue and enjoyed the show. They had a great time, singing along to their favorite songs and dancing in the crowd. She felt happy and relaxed, forgetting about her troubles. She thanked her friend for the ticket and said goodbye.

She walked to the bus stop and waited for the next bus. She checked her phone and saw that there was a notification from the lottery app. She had downloaded it a while ago, but never used it. She opened it and saw that the jackpot was over 100 million dollars. She thought: "Wow, that's a lot of money. I wonder who won."

She scrolled down and saw the winning numbers: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42. She gasped, feeling a surge of adrenaline. She remembered the second fortune and thought: "No way. This can't be real." She checked the date and time of the draw and saw that it was today, a few hours ago. She thought: "This is impossible. This is a joke. This is a glitch."

She opened her wallet and took out the receipt from the Chinese restaurant. She looked at the numbers on the paper and compared them to the numbers on the screen. They matched. She thought: "This is real. This is happening. I won the lottery."

She screamed, attracting the attention of the other people at the bus stop. She didn't care. She jumped up and down, waving her phone and the receipt. She shouted: "I won! I won! I won the lottery!"

She called her friend and told her the news. She didn't believe her at first, but then she heard the excitement in her voice and the confirmation from the app. She congratulated her and asked her what she was going to do with the money. She said: "I don't know. I haven't thought about it. Maybe I'll quit my job, travel the world, buy a house, donate to charity, or something. I'll figure it out later. Right now, I'm just happy."

She hung up and looked at the sky. She saw a shooting star and made a wish. She wished for more happiness, more luck, and more fortune cookies.

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