Laid off lottery winners honoured
A group of Ottawa assembly plant workers who found out they won a $7 million lottery on the same day many got layoff notices were officially deemed the lottery winners Friday evening in Toronto.
Eighteen employees at SMART technologies — including 10 who got layoff notices on Wednesday — were part of the group of winners of Wednesday's Lotto 6/49 prize, according to Colin Willard, one of the ticket holders.
Willard and three of his coworkers were up early Friday morning for a drive he said would be "the ride of our lives."
"Driving there is making it feel like it's actually true and we did actually win," Willard said Friday morning.
The group travelled down to Toronto for a verification process to claim the ticket. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation then presented the cheque at a press conference Friday evening.
SMART technologies said Wednesday it was laying off 200 employees at the assembly plant on Palladium Drive. The assembly plant employs about 300 people. The first phase of layoffs is scheduled for September.
On Friday, Willard said he planned to return to work Monday and continue to work until his final day.
"I've worked for SMART for seven and a half years, I think I owe them a little something," said Willard, whose wife is also a manager at the plant.
Willard said some of the eighteen took cars while others flew or took the train. He said after a night of what he called a tame celebration, the group of co-workers has clearer heads the next day on what to do with their shares of close to $390,000.
"It's sunk in now, they've had a chance to stay at home think about it makes plans about how they are going to spend their money," said Willard. "I think everybody's ready for it."