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Virginia man wins $7 million in lottery scratch-off game

Yibeltal Belachew, of Woodbridge, is shown with an oversize pretend check after he won $7 million in a Virginia lottery game. (Virginia Lottery)
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At first, Yibeltal Belachew, of Woodbridge, thought he was dreaming. But it was reality — he had won $7 million in a lottery game.

He scratched his ticket for the game called “100X The Money” from the Virginia Lottery and saw he had won something but did not know what or how much, Virginia Lottery officials said in a news release Monday.

Later, he looked at his ticket a second time and realized he had won the top prize, $7 million, according to lottery officials.

He told them, “It took me a while to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. You don’t believe that kind of stuff right away.”

Powerball mystery: Someone in this tiny town won $731 million. Now everyone wants a piece of it.

Belachew said he planned to take the one-time cash option of $4.2 million before taxes, instead of taking the prize money in annual payments over 30 years, officials said. He bought his winning ticket at a Safeway grocery store on Willard Way in Fairfax.

The prizes in the “100X The Money game” range from $30 to $7 million.

Officials said two other winners have yet to claim their $7 million prizes. Winning the lottery is tough, with odds of winning a top prize in the “100X The Money game” at 1 in 2.6 million, according to officials.