$7M Virginia Lottery Winner Bought Ticket Store Customer Didn't Want

Someone out there must be kicking themselves.

An employee at a grocery store in Falls Church, Virginia, hadn't meant to buy a Cash4Life ticket -- but he won $7 million after a customer didn't want it.

Michael Donnelly of Woodbridge was ringing up Powerball tickets for customers at the Harris Teeter store in Columbia Pike when he accidentally hit a wrong button, Virginia Lottery officials said. Instead of generating a Powerball ticket, he accidentally generated a Cash4Life ticket.

The customer didn't want it, so Donnelly ended up buying the ticket himself.

That mistake made him a big winner.

Donnelly's ticket matched all six numbers in the Cash4Life drawing Jan. 7, lottery officials said. He had the option to accept $1,000 per day for the rest of his life or take a one-time payout of $7 million before taxes. He chose the cash, and on Friday, he posed with his big check.

"It still hasn't hit me yet," he told lottery officials.

Donnelly didn't know right away he had won. He checked the ticket days after the drawing when a store customer said she had heard a winning ticket had been sold at the store. He checked the numbers and called his wife.

“If that’s true, you have to come home because I’m about to have a heart attack!” she replied, lottery officials said.

Donnelly is Virginia's first top-prize winner in the Cash4Life game, which is played in six states. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 21.8 million.

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