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Tears and shock: Boss surprises staff with $15m Christmas bonus

What would you do if you received this huge bonus? Images: Getty, St. John Properties

An American real estate firm has brightened up Christmas for its 198 employees, after announcing they would all receive a share of a US$10 million (AU$14.69 million) bonus. 

Employees will receive US$50,000 on average, St. John Properties announced on its website. 

But others will receive US$250,000, as the bonuses are based on years of service. 

“To celebrate the achievement of our goal, we wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” said company founder Edward St. John. 

“I am thankful for every one of our employees, for their hard work and dedication. I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.”

The bonuses were announced at the company’s Christmas party to tears and shock, with the firm saying the extreme bonuses were to celebrate having achieved 20 million square feet of office, retail and warehouse space in eight states. 

The bonus is on top of other bonuses staff may be eligible. 

“What happened tonight is magical, it is life changing - it is really amazing,” one recipient said. 

“I was totally blown away,” said another.

“My philosophy has always been to surround myself with the best and the brightest – and that is what we have done. Every professional at St. John Properties is committed to excellence every day,” said St. John. 

Michigan foam-craft business FloraCraft last year gave its full-time employees US$4 million in Christmas bonuses, to thank them for their work. 

Those bonuses were also based on years of service, with the average employee to receive around US$20,000. 

“I believe strongly in giving back to the community by supporting initiatives that make Ludington a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family," FloraCraft owner Lee Schoenherr said. 

"A few years ago, I began thinking that I would like to do something more targeted for our employees, who really are the heart and soul of FloraCraft.

"This idea has developed over the past year and is my way of saying thank you to our team for the role they have had in our success.”

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