Dhrupal Patel was returning to Northern Virginia with his wife and child after a vacation in the Smoky Mountains.
Rather than drive the interstate, he decided to take some less-traveled roads and see the countryside.
That’s how he ended up at the Stop & Save on Riverside Drive in Tazewell, Virginia. He got some coffee, groceries, and snacks, and he also bought an Electric 7s ticket from the Virginia Lottery.
Later, when he got home to Herndon, he scratched the ticket and discovered he’d won the game’s $777,777 top prize.
“I was not able to talk!” he later told Lottery officials. “I couldn’t believe it!”
He had just become the first top prize winner in Electric 7s (game #2067), one of dozens of Scratchers available from the Virginia Lottery. The game features prizes from $10 to $777,777. Since he is the first person to scratch to win the top prize, two more $777,777 tickets are unclaimed. The odds of winning the top prize are 1 in 1,224,000. The odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 3.94.
Mr. Patel, who is an IT consultant, said he intends to take care of his family with the winnings.
“I feel very blessed,” he said.