Fortune Cookie Reveals Winning Lottery Numbers, 2005

Read about the reaction when, in Iowa 2005, fortune cookie lucky numbers caused 25 times more players to win the state lottery than anticipated.

You know how at the end of a Chinese restaurant meal you get a little fortune cookie to crack open with some lucky numbers and wise words of oriental counsel inside?

Surely those lucky numbers couldn’t be so lucky as to win you the lottery? But this actually happened to dozens of state lottery players in Iowa, 2005.

In one of the mid-week ‘Powerball’ draws the expected number of Level 5 Prize-winning tickets – $100,000 or $500,000 prizes – was 4.

State Lottery Directors were absolutely flummoxed to find out that this time there were a whopping 110 winners, and most had apparently used the numbers included in a fortune-cookie message.

Doug Orr, Powerball Marketing Director reported “With the systems reporting so many plays of 22–28–32–33–39 and Powerball 40, it is likely that most drew their luck from a very fortunate cookie. The cookie was one number away from winning the $25.5 million jackpot.

The odds of winning the $100,000 prize were about 1 in 2.9 million, yet the seers at the cookie factory smashed those odds.

They no doubt garnered a lot of fans of their cookies and sure made it a very expensive week for the good people of the Multi-State Lottery Association too.

There were 110 winners of the Iowa State Lottery in 2005 – up from the expected 4 (

Iowa’s Route 6 – The Road Built in an Hour, 1910

To build a solid, major road, hundreds of miles long in one hour defies belief, but that is what the Iowa State authorities performed in 1910. Read how they pulled it off.

In the USA in 1910 the motorcar’s popularity was really taking off with the launch of the Model T Ford two years earlier. In Iowa State, before the U.S. Highway System came into being in 1926, roads were maintained and promoted by local organisations which sought to drive traffic into their communities.

Yet there was one major obstacle on the road to prosperity; Iowa was gaining a nasty reputation for the poor state of its roads.

They would become impassable for weeks at a time due to snow and mud, farmers weren’t able to get their products to the nearest rail station and it slowed and even halted mail delivery at times. Iowa got nicknamed the ‘gumbo state’ (gumbo being a thick brown stew).

At a Good Roads Convention in Des Moines on March 8–9, 1910 it was decided that a well maintained River-to-River Road from Davenport to Council Bluffs would help change Iowa’s reputation.

To that end 10,000 Iowans turned out one day under the White Pole Auto Club’s banner, and with thousands of picks, shovels, ploughs, and scrapers they made tremendous progress.

Amazingly, these men completed the road in just one hour; all 380 miles (612 km) of it, and with road signs erected by the day’s end!

That road is Highway 6

Governor Carroll arranged for the farmers who lived along the route to work on the road (

Now, Iowa possessed a road that within a year was widely recognised as the standard of the world.

This is a real road, and even when the ocean-to-ocean highway shall be a fact in the luxurious future, transcontinental automobile travellers may continue to look forward to this particular stretch in pleasant anticipation.” wrote Victor Eubank, after completing the pioneering Raymond and Whitcomb cross-country tour in 1912.


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