A 97-year-old man from the Yellowknife area has won $1 million on a lottery ticket he nearly threw in the garbage.

Michel Paper of Dettah, N.W.T., said he purchased two Set For Life scratch tickets at a downtown Yellowknife grocery store on Saturday, but upon scratching both tickets he did not think he had won.

Paper told CBC News he nearly ripped up the winning ticket and threw it into the garbage next to the lottery kiosk. But he said he decided to check first with the woman who worked there.

The kiosk employee called the Western Canada Lottery Corp. in Edmonton to check, and was asked to hand Paper the phone, he recalled.

"That girl, she told me, 'You lucky old man, you make [a] million dollars,'" Paper said Monday.

"I'm happy, you know. I say, God, thank you, thank you."

His son, Frank Paper, told CBC News that his father has appeared unfazed by the lottery win, acting as if nothing had happened.

The younger Paper said his father had gone to the Extra Foods grocery store while he went to a doctor's appointment across the street.

The son said he became concerned upon returning from the appointment because his father was still standing at the lottery kiosk. That was when Michel Paper showed off the winning ticket.

Winners of the Set for Life lottery contest can claim either a single payment of $1 million, or they can get $1,000 every week for 1,290 weeks along with a $10,000 lump sum.

Given his age, Michel Paper said he will take the $1-million lump sum. He is scheduled to pick up his winnings in Edmonton next Tuesday.

Paper said he plans to buy his son and two grandchildren a house. He said until now, he has been supporting them and his own wife with his old age pension.

After buying the house, Paper said he will put the remaining money into a bank account for his grandchildren.