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Fortune Cookie Story

Giving credit to the Chinese, most Americans have never considered an American origin to fortune cookies, the crispy, bow-shaped sugar cookies served in restaurants as the finale of a Chinese meal.

While the Chinese have no tradition of dessert, one competing legend of the fortune cookie suggests it was introduced in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and the idea pirated by a local Chinese restauranteur. A Japanese American heritage is claimed by others, contending the cookie is a descendent of the sembet, a flat, round, rice cracker.

The Chinese believe the fortune cookie is a modern Chinese American interpretation of the moon cake. Legend has it that moon cakes were used in the fourteenth century as a means of critical communication. In their efforts to stave off the Mongols, Chinese soldiers disguised as monks allegedly communicated strategies by stuffing messages into moon cakes. The concept of message-stuffed pastry has supposedly endured through ages.

Perhaps the most plausible story dates back to 1918 when, in Los Angeles, David Jung, founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Co., invented the fortune cookie as a sweet treat and encouraging word for unemployed men who gathered on the streets. Some claim the cookie was more likely invented as a gimmick for Jung's noodle business than as an icon of social concern.

Now mass produced and widely distributed, the fortune cookie is exported to China and Hong Kong with fortunes written in English. Most popular in the United States, the cookies continue to lift spirits with promises of great success, love and harmony, fame and good fortune.

The odds are great that many gamblers believe in lucky numbers or other rituals they religiously follow every time they gamble. Much of the appeal of gambling is hitting winning streaks when it seems impossible to lose, and in many cases there's no better explanation than it was your lucky night; once you place your bets, buy your Lottery ticket, or spin the slots, whether you're a winner or not is completely up to fate.

As far as finding lucky numbers, getting Lottery numbers from fortune cookies is one of the most common places where you'll find lucky numbers to use. Some people don't like this method as it's not very personal and seemingly random, but if you believe in the power of messages from fortune cookies there's no reason to ignore the numbers on the back if you're a Lottery fan. If luck is simply the way of the universe rewarding you, why not deliver your good luck in a fortune cookie?

Other gamblers look elsewhere for their lucky numbers: Lucky Numbers 4U website

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