In a surprising twist of fate, 18 lucky SMART Technologies employees who were recently told they were getting laid off are heading to Toronto Friday to collect a multi-million-dollar lottery jackpot.
Colin Willard and his co-workers of the Kanata-based firm, which manufactures electronic whiteboards, were told about the layoffs on Tuesday. The next day, Willard bought a Quick Pick Lotto 6-49 ticket with 17 co-workers.
At 6:30 Thursday morning, Willard couldn’t believe his eyes when he checked the numbers.
“I couldn’t stop shaking,” he said. “When I was looking at them, I didn’t believe it and I asked somebody to come over and see if I was reading them right.”
The grand total is $7,077,095.80. After doing their happy dance, the group arranged to divide the jackpot, giving each winner about $390,000.
Willard said he plans to pay off his mortgage and other bills, and to eventually replace his truck with a new car. He doesn’t know when his last day at work will be, but he plans to return to work and finish the job, beginning Monday.
“It’s kind of depressing,” he said. “But you’ve still got to go on.”