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When winners of the prize came forward to claim the prize on April Fool’s Day, state lottery officials had instructions to grill them, Strutt said.
The first hint came from Tennessee, where the first three winners told lottery officials they took the numbers from fortune cookies. The story was repeated across America.
Tennessee and Idaho officials visited dozens of Chinese restaurants and traced the cookies back to a distributor in the New York area. The New York Times investigated the story, tracking the cookies to New York’s Wonton Food, which calls itself the world’s biggest fortune cookie maker.