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'Wide-eyed wow look:' Hartland employees receive big bonus from Maryland-based company

’Wide-eyed wow look: ’ Hartland employees receive big bonus from Maryland-based company

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HARTLAND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A real estate firm is making headlines for giving its employees very generous bonuses at a holiday party over the weekend.

The Maryland-based company has an office in Waukesha County and those employees are benefiting as well.

"It's been life changing for some people," St. John Properties Wisconsin Regional Partner Greg Fax said. "Some people got double their annual salary or better."

11 employees at the St. John Properties office in Hartland are among nearly 200 who are being given a share of $10 million.

Leaders at the commercial real estate company told employees there would be a surprise at holiday celebration.

St. John Properties

Once there, employees were given envelopes and told by the founder and chairman, Edward St. John, they would be receiving a part of $10 million.

Fax said he didn't open his at first, but instead watched everyone around him.

"I was astounded by the reaction I started seeing with people around me," he said. "I looked around and there were middle aged men, grown men with tears and crying. Everybody's got this wide-eyed wow look on their face, so then I decided to dig into mine."

St. John Properties

The bonuses were based off of the employee's time with the company. It averages out to around $50,000 per person.

Only five employees in the entire company knew about the bonus ahead of the surprise announcement.

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