A group of workers from the same Canadian oil refinery are celebrating becoming overnight millionaires after scooping a C$60m (£34m) lottery jackpot.

The 31 winners all worked together at a refinery in the appropriately named town Come By Chance, which has a population of just 228, located in the easterly province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A father and son, twin brothers and a married couple are members of winning group, while the town of Avondale, population 600, has eight new millionaires – three of them on the same street.

The group, who are also members of the same trade union and have been buying tickets together for three months, will split one of the largest jackpots in Canadian history, each receiving C$1.9m (£1m).

“We throw in $5 each, so we had $155 worth of tickets,” said Sherry Moore Hickey, who purchased the group’s winning ticket from a petrol station.

She said it was “hard to believe it was happening” after receiving a call from another member of the syndicate informing her they had won.  

“I made 28 other phone calls to tell the group members individually that we had the winning ticket. They had some choice words for me as they thought I was joking,” she added.

Five workers have chosen to retire immediately, however the rest of the group have decided to return to work to finish a project at the refinery.

“We need to see it through, it’s the right thing to do for the other Boilermakers in our union,” said Ms Moore Hickey said. “We want to ensure when we leave, we leave our membership in good standing.”

Some of the new millionaires plan to pay off their mortgages with the winnings, while new cars and investment funds have also been mooted.

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