SMART Workers Win Lottery Same Day They Get Layoff Notices

It's been said, "When one door closes, another opens." That may be never so true as for 10 employees of a SMART Technologies plant near Canada's capital city, Ottawa, who were given layoff notices Wednesday.

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The 10 were among 18 employees of the company, a maker of high-tech displays and other products, who are set to pocket $7 million between them after winning Ontario's Lotto 6/49 prize, CBC News reports.

The province's lottery corporation confirmed Thursday that the winning ticket in the previous night's lottery was shared by a group of people from Ottawa.

Each member of the group will receive about $400,000. That's not enough to make you rich, said one member of the group, Tony Mather. Still, he said, "That comfort zone for the rest of your life is the nice story."

The first phase of layoffs at SMART is set to begin in September. Colin Willard, another member of the winning group, is among those whose job is slated to be cut.

But as he explained to the CBC, sadness at losing the job turned to elation when he learned of the win.

"I started to shake, vibrate in my seat, and then I had to get out and tell some of the people that were in, and no one believed me," Willard said.

The group of winners will have to go through a verification process to claim the prize, an agency spokesman told the CBC.

Calgary-based SMART said Wednesday it was laying off 200 employees at its Kanata assembly plant, which employs about 300 people. The company said it was shifting manufacturing to Mexico.

Next: Janitor Keeps Job After Winning $3.4 Million In Lottery [Video]

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Filed under: Employment News, Layoffs

David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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