Laid-off Ottawa workers win $7.1-million jackpot
Luck has changed for a group of 18 Ottawa workers who were laid off from their jobs at SMART Technology earlier this week.
Only days after wondering how they'd pay their bills, the group won a $7.1-million jackpot.
The employees buy a quick pick for the Lotto 6/49 every week. Now each of them will walk away with nearly $400,000. The winnings amount to about 15 years worth of gross pay.
"It's the perfect amount to win. Any more and you are different, but this makes you comfortable. And you wish everyone could experience this kind of feeling," said Tony Mather.
On Wednesday, the group opened a bottle of scotch to console themselves after losing their jobs. One day later, they drank from that same bottle of scotch to celebrate their winnings.
Here's how Colin Willard broke the news to Mather at work Thursday morning:
"He pulls in and I hear him hit the curb and I say: 'Smash it.' And I walk up to his window and say we just won the lottery. And he says, 'Colin I've had a bad day. Don't screw with me.'"
The two employees were laid off along with the rest of the workforce at SMART Technology's assembly plant in Ottawa earlier this week.
The Calgary-based company, which manufactures interactive white boards for schools and businesses, will close its Ottawa plant and transfer the work to a third-party manufacturer out of the country.
The winnings couldn't have come at a better time. Mather says now that he's a lotto winner that bottle of scotch he drank from just the other day is no longer good enough for his tastes.
"What 24 hours ago would have been an extravagant 18-year-old scotch, which now for the rest of my life it will be something that I won't touch again because it's not good," Mather told CTV Ottawa on Thursday.
While some at the plant lucked out with their winnings, others weren't so lucky.
"Jealous. I'm jealous. That's how it goes right?" said Dan Ham, a single father of two who wasn't among the winners.
The group plans to travel to Toronto on Friday to pick up their jackpot.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kate Eggins