A group of 9 co-workers from southern Ontario is the new lotto winners of a $60-million prize, which was drawn last December 21, 2018. According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the 9 Guelph plant workers attend the same work schedule on an assembly line at an auto parts factory.
The 9 lotto jackpot winners, all employees of Guelph’s Linamar Corporation, vary in ages between 21 and 57 years old and work on the same assembly floor. “We’re a very close line–closer than any of the other lines,” team leader Ala Hirmiz expressed. “We always talk and joke and celebrate each other’s birthdays. And now we get to celebrate this unbelievable win together!” he added.
The co-lotto winners recall that they only started purchasing lottery tickets as one group over the last few months as the winning prize kept going up. “We only play if it’s $50M plus – we want the big one, we don’t want the small one,” Hirmiz chuckled during an interview.
On December 21, their lotto ticket showed up in the Ontario Lotto Max raw, winning the coveted $60-million jackpot prize. The 9 co-workers, including Pinoys, have not only won the lottery jackpot as a group, but they have also quitted their jobs together to pursue greener pastures. The big winners also remembered that they had just bought tickets less than five times, with fellow members Ella Nicole Cabrera and Mussie Kelete joining them for the first time before they hit the draw.
“I almost didn’t hand over my $5 when it was time to buy our ticket,” co-winner Mercedes Granadino recalled. “But I had this sixth sense, like some spirit sitting on my shoulder telling me to play!” she said. In fact, Granadino was the first one to hear that the winning ticket had been bought from Guelph, prompting her to call ticket-holder Fernando Meneses to verify their winning ticket. Meneses thought the group only won $6000, but when they verified the numbers again, they were all surprised to discover that they won the lottery.
“I thought maybe this app is lying, so I’m going to go to winning numbers. I check again, one by one, until the seventh, and I got it!” Meneses expressed. It took him over five times before the great news sunk into his mind.
Their decision to leave the factory was not easy, but they said that their winnings would give them a lot of better opportunities in the future. “They’re happy, but our supervisors, they’re upset also because we shut down the whole line,” Meneses added.
The co-workers, mostly immigrants, say that they have already planned something big for their respective winnings. One winner plans to open up his new business in Canada while others plan to visit Disneyland with their family. Another proud winner would want to explore the wonders of Canada.