A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

13 Times Fortune Cookies Literally Changed People’s Lives

That fortune can be surprisingly accurate—or incredibly beneficial: Check out these amazing stories of fortune-cookie inspired luck.

1 / 13
The fortune cookies in bowl on blue background. Top view.
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

The keystone to happiness

“Don’t pursue happiness, create it.” When author Wendy Turner got this fortune, she saved it because it inspired several more life-changing mantras that together comprise a “happiness contract” with herself. For example, “I will slow down and be grateful” and “My actions will speak louder than my words.”

2 / 13
cropped shot of woman opening chinese fortune cookie, Chinese New Year concept
LightField Studios/Shutterstock

She found all the pieces

“God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.” That’s the fortune spiritual blogger Kali got from a cookie while she was trying to decide what to do with her life. After struggling for years trying to piece her own heart together, she read this fortune and made a decision to find the missing pieces of herself by devoting herself to volunteerism.

3 / 13
Chinese fortune cookie with prediction on wooden background top view
9dream studio/Shutterstock

He believed it, and it came true

On December 9, 2017, college student Jordan Richards opened a fortune cookie at a local Chinese restaurant that read, “3 months from today, something good will happen.” Well, Richards took it seriously, marking it down in his calendar as “Fortune Cookie Day.” Three months later, to the day, he got an offer for a job that he could start post-graduation.

4 / 13
The fortune cookies on blue napkin.
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

It took a fortune cookie for her to let go of the past

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” When blogger Jillian Beaubourg read that, she was still battling post-traumatic stress disorder from her bad relationship with her father—at the age of 50. She realized that she had to let the past go to move forward. Find out the 50 little changes that will make you a happier person.

5 / 13
Chinese fortune cookie with prediction on bright yellow background top view copy space
Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

Double the fun

Jim Markley and his wife, Debbie, had been trying to start a family for five years with no luck, according to a story in Spokesman-Review, a Spokane, Washington publication. Finally, they found out that Debbie was pregnant, but before they could tell anyone they went out with friends for Chinese. When they got their fortune cookies, they both got the same fortune: “You will live to a ripe old age, happy in the love and respect of many children.” They ended up with two children—which Jim says qualifies as “many.”

6 / 13
top view of fortune cookie on white table
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

Seek your potential

Jessica Darling told her fortune cookie story on a travel blog: “Shortly before my 33rd birthday, I read the fortune, ‘You will never know your full potential until you try.'” So she decided to try. “I gave myself an open-ended sabbatical to really get in touch with what deeper meaning my life had and what work I was meant to do in the world,” she explains. “Within six months I had resigned from my job, found myself single after years of being with a partner, and was entirely on my own.” She traveled for three years and ended up becoming an ordained minister. Check out the 5 life skills that guarantee success.

7 / 13
The fortune cookies on chopsticks in bowl. Top view.
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

From corny cookies to a lifetime of bliss

“Is your fortune as corny as mine?” That was the line blogger Nikki D got from the man who would become her husband. She was eating Chinese food in an airport when she noticed a cute guy in line. “As fate would have it, the two of us ended up sitting about 100 feet apart facing each other. I ate about half of my fried rice and pulled out my laptop to do some work. That’s when the handsome man came up to me… I gave him my business card (not my smoothest move ever), and he started texting me before we even left the airport.”

8 / 13
Chinese fortune cookie with prediction on light blue background top view copy space
Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

A dream with a deadline

Author Wendy DeGroat once got a fortune that said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” They were all the words she needed to finish the history book she’d been writing. That fortune is still hanging on DeGroat’s wall, serving as an inspiration for the book and 63 poems she’s published in the nine years since opening that cookie.

9 / 13
Prediction in fortune cookie on white background flat lay
9dream studio/Shutterstock

Two outta three

Married couple Barbara and Scott Turnbull became very wealthy thanks to a fortune cookie. In March 1995, they each played a set of numbers they got from a fortune cookie. They ended up being two of the three winners of a $4 million Texas Lotto jackpot.

10 / 13
mixed race man's hand open a fortune cookies with an empty paper
Rudo film/Shutterstock

Luck x 110

The Turnbulls story was upstaged a decade later: According to Snopes.com, Wonton Food in Queens, New York, put the winning digits for a March 2005 drawing in numerous cookies, leading to 110 people winning second place in a Powerball drawing. The story could have been even better: For the sixth number, Wonton Food listed 40—the winner was 42.

11 / 13
Chinese fortune cookie with prediction on bright yellow background top view copy space
Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

The way his cookie crumbled

Here’s yet another story of someone who played those lucky numbers and won big. Sixty-six-year-old Boca Raton, Florida resident Richard Davis had been playing numbers he got in fortune cookies for some time when, in 2015, he became the sole winner of a $7 million jackpot.

12 / 13
The fortune cookies on blue background. Top view.
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

A different sort of lotto fortune

In July 2018, an unnamed Vancouver, Washington man broke open his fortune cookie and discovered not one, but three, fortunes, and two of them read, “Buy a ticket. All your financial troubles will soon be resolved.” He followed the advice—and won $125,000.

13 / 13
a lot of fortune cookies on wooden table
Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

The lucky numbers keep rolling

Years ago, Ronnie Martin of Long Pond, Pennsylvania got lotto numbers from a fortune cookie that he really liked. He regularly played them at a gas station on his commute to New Jersey. Recently, his numbers finally came through: He won $1 million. Now, check out these 20 incredible true stories about luck.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest and in a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction, and her first full-length manuscript, "The Trust Game," was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.