Michelle Rivera

Michelle Rivera is the first player to redeem a top prize winning ticket in Lucky 7s Cash Blowout.

When Michelle Rivera scratched a Lucky 7s Cash Blowout ticket from the Virginia Lottery and realized she’d just won the game’s $2,777,777 top prize, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I won!’ ” she told Lottery officials as she claimed her prize. “The clerk told me to stop saying I won out loud and go home!”

The Stafford woman waited more than four months before redeeming her ticket. She said she took the time to make a financial plan for her winnings.

She had the choice of taking the $2,777,777 prize in annual payments over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $1,671,346 before taxes. She chose the annual payments.

She bought her winning ticket at the 7-Eleven at 910 Garrisonville Road in Stafford.

Lucky 7s Cash Blowout is one of dozens of Scratchers currently offered by the Virginia Lottery. It features prizes ranging from $20 up to $2,777,777. Rivera is the first player to redeem a top prize winning ticket in this game, which means two more are unclaimed.

The odds of winning that top prize are 1 in 979,200, while the odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 3.11.

Rivera said she intends to buy a house and pay off debt.

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