Nine Ontario coworkers quit jobs after winning $60M Lotto Max jackpot
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:57PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2019 8:30PM EST
A group of nine coworkers from southern Ontario say they quit their jobs after learning they would be sharing the $60 million Lotto Max jackpot.
The winners, who all worked the same shift at an auto production plant in Guelph, said they have each been paying $5 into a lottery pool for the last six weeks. A relatively new tradition, the group decided they would only spend the money for the big prize.
At a news conference held Thursday morning, Guelph resident Mercedes Granadino said that she called the person who organized the pool on the day the winning ticket was announced.
“I turned on my car and I heard the news that the jackpot winner was from Guelph,” Granadino said. “I said you better check the number.
It took the lottery group organizer a few tries to scan the ticket on his phone, as his Internet wasn’t working properly. A short time later, Fernando Meneses of Guelph got some news that would change his life, and the life of his eight friends, forever.
“My phone was vibrating, ‘gagnant’, $60 million, big winner, and still I couldn’t believe,” he said. “And then I wanted to make sure, maybe this app is lying, so I am going to look at the winning numbers.”
Meneses said he checked all the numbers one by one before phoning his co-worker to give them the good news.
Kitchener resident Ala Hirmiz was driving when Meneses called and had to pull over to a side street.
“I said ‘you know my health. I don’t want to have a heart attack.’ He said ‘we are the winner’,” Hirmiz said.
The pair called a group meeting at Riverside Park in Guelph, where they told everyone else the news.
Speaking at the news conference, Guelph resident Steven Rush said that he was overwhelmed when he heard they had won the lottery.
“It just blew my mind and, all the possibilities of the future were right there,” he said. “I couldn’t’ sleep, I couldn’t eat, it was just one of those things. I still can’t fathom the whole thing right now.”
The group said that they have all resigned from their jobs, joking that they shut down the production line.
The winners, who range in age from 21 to 57 years old, will each be taking home about $6.6 million and say they are still deciding how to spend the money.
The ticket was purchased at Little Short Stop Store on Silvercreek Parkway in Guelph.