08/11/2011 11:26 EDT | Updated 10/11/2011 05:12 EDT

Ottawa Workers Lottery Winners Days Before Jobs Set To End


TORONTO - Some Ottawa assembly plant workers who are losing their jobs picked up seven-million dollars in consolation on Friday.

The 18 coworkers at the SMART Technologies plant won Wednesday's $7.07 million Lotto 6/49 draw.

The group claimed the prize in Toronto and the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation said each worker will take home $400,000.

The win comes as 10 of the men are set to be laid off on Sept. 9., said winner Shaun Hogan, who has not yet received a pink slip.

He said he will be let go with the rest of the plant's workers starting in October.

The Calgary-based company announced this week it's shutting the Ottawa facility, which plant assembles interactive digital whiteboards, to save money.

The company said in a statement this week the work will go to a third-party supplier once the plant closes.

Winner Collin Willard said the group has been pooling its money to buy lottery tickets for five years, but has never won more than a few hundred dollars before.

Willard said the six-figure cheques should give the coworkers some breathing room as their jobs end.

"All your bills are paid, you don't have to worry about working for the time being, and when you do get a job you don't have to work a hard job, you can get a job that you feel comfortable with."

Some of the winners said they'll use the prize to pay off mortgages and renovate their homes. Willard said older members in the group will retire with the money.

"This has just been non-stop craziness" said Shaun Hogan, who marked eight years at the plant Thursday.

And how did his family react when he told them he'd won?

"I'll let you know when my wife stops screaming."

He said he'll spend some of the money on kids — aged 7 and 4 — and "spoil them rotten."