When Charles W. Jackson Jr.'s granddaughter handed him a fortune cookie two years ago, he never thought it would be a moment that would change his life forever. Jackson decided to play the lottery numbers on the back of the fortune cookie and didn't win, but he kept the playing the same numbers, hoping one day he might hit it big.
Last week, those numbers finally came up, and Charles was the lucky winner of the $344 million Powerball jackpot. Initially, he thought he had just won $50,000, but quickly realized he matched the Powerball number as well, making him the sole winner of the massive prize.
"You play to win, but you don't ever expect to win,"Jackson said at a press conference the North Carolina Education Lottery headquarters.
He decided to take the lump sum of $223 million and plans to donate one million dollars to three charities: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Wounded Warrior Project. Jackson says that he promised God that he would donate a portion of winnings if he ever won the lottery.
"I'm going to stick to what I said because that's somebody you probably shouldn't lie to," he joked.
He doesn't know what else he will do with all his money, saying that he hopes his newfound wealth won't change him too much.
"I don't know what to do with it. I hope it don't change me a lot," he said. "I'm still going to wear my jeans — maybe newer ones."