At first, Yibeltal Belachew, of Woodbridge, thought he was dreaming. But it was reality — he had won $7 million in a lottery game.
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.”
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.