P.E.I.'s Erik Gerlund almost missed out on buying a lottery ticket earlier this month that earned him $1 million.

Gerlund, who designs sets for film and television, cashed in his million-dollar Atlantic 49 ticket Monday morning. He moved to Bedeque a year and a half ago from the Vancouver.

Gerlund made the move because he enjoys the more relaxed East Coast lifestyle, and he recently turned down a six-month job offer in Vancouver that would have had him off-Island this month, meaning he wouldn't have been in Summerside buying the million-dollar lottery ticket.

'Walked around in a stupor'

Gerlund has bought lottery tickets almost every week for more than 30 years. During a recent shopping trip in Summerside, he bought a Lotto 6/49 ticket, with an Atlantic 49 add on — as usual. 

'I kind of walked around in a stupor, checking it multiple times.' - Erik Gerlund

Gerlund said he couldn't believe it when he checked his ticket the morning after the Jan. 10 draw.

"I [thought] no, this isn't right, there's something wrong here," Gerlund said.

"In fact I ended up taking the dogs out for a walk, I washed the dishes, I kind of walked around in a stupor, checking it multiple times."

Plans for time off, travel

While the news of his win is still sinking in, Gerlund said he has started thinking about what he'll do with the money. First off, he plans to pay off his debt. After that, he hopes to take some time off to relax and travel. 

"I'm going to take the rest of the year off. I'm not going to work in 2018, that's my time. I've worked really hard and long for 27 years. You know big hours, long hours. So now this is going to be a holiday that I can enjoy. Enjoy a little time with my family, with my mum."

Erik Gerlund lottery

Erik Gerlund says he plans to pay off his debts, and spend some time exploring the Atlantic provinces. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Gerlund usually works in Vancouver in the summers, so he has yet to experience a full P.E.I. summer. He said this year he plans to explore the Island, and the rest of the Atlantic provinces.  

"I want to go up to Greenwich, that's big on my list. I want to go to Tignish, I've never been there.  And I want to go to … Newfoundland. I want to go see like, Gros Morne, I want to see the Viking settlements. I'd love to do the Cabot Trail. That kind of stuff, you know. Just really take it all in and enjoy it."

Gerlund said he also would like to renovate his home, so his mother can move in with him. 

With files from Sarah MacMillan