A Sooke resident is one step closer to retirement after winning the Lotto 6/49 Guaranteed $1-million prize in the March 24th draw.

Patrick OLeary says one of his favourite pastimes is mowing the lawn, during which he dreams about travelling and retirement.

OLeary, 20-year excavator operator, says those dreams are now more like reality after winning his ticket purchased from the Petro Canada on Sooke Road.

He discovered his ticket was a winner after scanning it at a drugstore in Sooke where he likes to buy his cream every Saturday.

“I checked (the ticket) the first time and couldn’t make out what was on the screen because I didn’t have my glasses on,” he recalled. “Then I checked the second time by going to see the clerk and I thought something screwed up as the machine shut down!”

After he realized that the machine freeze was not due to a technical glitch — but a major win — the Vancouver Islander said he immediately shared the news with his fiance.

“Her first reaction was disbelief as I tend to joke a lot,” OLeary admitted, “but I would never joke about something like this. Once she realized this was true, she was shocked and repeated ‘Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!’,” he said.

OLeary and his fiancé celebrated by toasting with champagne the night they found out about the unexpected win.

Once it’s safe to do so, he said they would like to plan a return trip to Ireland to visit friends and family.

“It feels great,” he said. “Surreal – it’s hard to describe.”

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