Years ago, a Pennsylvania man cracked open a fortune cookie and found a string of numbers that he liked — and since then, he’s been playing those same numbers.
But it wasn’t until this year that Ronnie Martin’s commitment to the numbers paid off.
Martin stopped at a gas station in New Jersey on his way to work on July 24, and asked for three Mega Millions tickets — choosing his own numbers — on the night of a $543 million jackpot drawing, according to a press release from the New Jersey Lottery.
Martin dropped by the gas station a day later to scan his tickets, but the scanner told him to “see clerk.” The clerk, who knew Martin was a regular at the store, instantly realized it was good news for Martin.
“You’ve got the million dollar ticket!” the clerk said.
Martin wasn’t convinced, and made the clerk scan the ticket.
The clerk showed Martin the display, which revealed it was in fact that $1 million ticket. Martin finally realized he’d won.
Martin and his wife, Shirley, plan to use the $1 million prize to cover bills and pay off their house, according to the news release. The rest they plan to put into savings.
A resident of Long Pond, Pennsylvania, Martin bought the ticket at U.S. Gas in Hope, a township in Warren County, New Jersey. He routinely stopped to pick up lottery tickets on his way to work, the New Jersey Lottery said.