Unwanted Lottery Ticket Puts $7 Million Into Grocery Store Clerk's Pocket

Michael Donnelly is Virginia's first top-prize winner in the Cash4Life game.

A grocery store employee accidentally generated the wrong lottery ticket for a customer who then chose another ticket.

Michael Donnelly, of Woodbridge, Virginia, meant to sell a Powerball ticket to one of his customers but hit the wrong button and produced a Cash4Life entry instead.

The customer didn't want it so Donnelly, who works in the Harris Teeter shop in Falls Church, decided to buy the ticket and enter the draw himself.

The Harris Teeter shop in Falls Church, where Michael Donnelly works.

By a stroke of luck he had bought the ticket with all six numbers of a Cash4Life worth $7 million.

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.

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.

Donnelly is Virginia's first top-prize winner in the Cash4Life game, which is played in six states.

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