Sep 12, 2006, 5:51 pm
A group of Canadian Forces women is getting a $5 million payout on Tuesday, but it isn't from the government.
The eight women, who are civilian staff members at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in eastern Ontario, bought the ticket that had the winning numbers for Friday's Super 7 lottery.
The jackpot divides to about $650,000 for each of them.
The women said they hope their win will spread some good cheer among people at the base and soldiers participating in the Afghan mission — especially after the hardships they've faced in the past two weeks.
Since the start of September, five Canadian soldiers have been killed and several others injured in southern Afghanistan. At least four of the deceased had been based in CFB Petawawa.
"We're hoping it's going to bring some joy within to everyone," Cheryl Coates, who was one of the lucky ones, told CBC News.
"Petawawa has had a hard time the last few weeks."
No plans to quit jobs at base
Instead of the green military vehicles the women are accustomed to seeing at the base, a rented limousine was to whisk them in style from Petawawa to Toronto on Tuesday to pick up their winnings.
All eight wore T-shirts emblazoned with yellow ribbons signalling support for the soldiers.
The women, who range in age from 24 to 55, work for the Normandy Officers Mess and learned of their good fortune on Saturday after one of them looked up the numbers on the internet. [Editor: hopefully they looked them up on Lottery Post.]
All but one of the women is a military spouse and two of their husbands are among the more than 2,000 Canadians now serving in Afghanistan.
The women said their husbands didn't believe them at first when they told them of the win on the telephone.
The women said they would use the jackpot — which divides to about $650,000 for each of them — to pay the bills and help relatives pay for their education.
But not one mentioned quitting her job at the base.
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