Fortune cookie makes retired trucker a fortune

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They don’t call them fortune cookies for nothing.

William Meringola, a retired truck driver from Geneva, N.Y., used the numbers he found inside a fortune cookie on the ticket he bought for the New York Lottery’s Nov. 9 Lotto jackpot. The ticket won $13 million.

Meringola, 80, and his daughter, Christine Baker, have been playing Lotto together for more than a year. Meringola, who is hearing-impaired, had to ask a friend to call his daughter and tell her the good news.

Meringola plans to spend his winnings on his family. Baker, 57, plans to keep her nursing job at the Buffalo Ambulatory Surgery Center, but she intends to move back to the Finger Lakes area to be closer to her father, a widower.

Meringola bought the winning ticket at Baroody’s Enterprises in Geneva. Meringola and Baker chose to receive their winnings as a lump-sum amount of $6,736,373. They each will receive a check for $3,368,186, minus taxes.

The winning numbers were 11, 25, 29, 36, 39 and 44, with 52 as a bonus number.