Edson-area rig workers are Alberta's newest millionaires
Published Sunday, November 4, 2012 1:21PM MST
Last Updated Sunday, November 4, 2012 6:30PM MST
More than a dozen Alberta rig workers are new millionaires this weekend after winning $25 million from Friday’s Lotto Max jackpot.
CanElson Drilling Operations Manager Jamie Hopaluk tells CTV News the crew officially learned they were millionaires on Saturday morning, when the site's rig manager went to check their ticket at an Edson gas station.
“I said tell me what the machine did when you scanned that ticket and he said 'it flashed bright lights and a bunch of zeroes', it was unbelievable,” Hopaluk said.
Hopaluk said he immediately hopped into his truck and went to meet the new millionaires.
“You couldn’t wipe the smiles off with a shovel, they were ecstatic,” Hopaluk said.
Hopaluk said three crews of five worked at the rig, along with a rig manager. The workers were from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland.
He said most of the workers were under the age of 40 and that they had been regularly pooling their money together to enter the lottery.
“I think this week they put $50 bucks a head in and it paid off,” he said.
Replacement workers have been called in as the crew sorts out their winnings.
Hopaluk said no one on the crew has given any notice that they’ll be quitting.
“A lot of them are planning on paying off their houses and taking care of their families,” he said.
“I think we’re going to get the majority of them back but a couple of the older guys probably have enough money to retire now.
The Western Canada Lottery Corporation has not yet officially announced the lottery winners.
Hopaluk says at least 15 of the workers won - but that number could be higher.
"We had three crews of five guys and the rig manager. I think they were all in on it, but I’m not sure," he said.
If the $25 million is split between 16 people, each worker would receive about $1.56 million.
Four $1 million Maxmillion tickets were also won in Edmonton from Friday’s draw.