A lucky couple have been revealed as the winners of Britain’s biggest EuroMillions lottery jackpot, scooping more than £184m.
Joe and Jess Thwaite, from Gloucester, won the record-breaking amount of £184,262,899 with a Lucky Dip ticket in the draw on Tuesday, May 10.
Joe, a 49-year-old communications sales engineer and Jess, 44, who runs a hairdressing salon with her sister, have been married for 11 years and have two primary school aged children.
Mr Thwaite bought the winning ticket on Tuesday because he was aware of the jackpot.
He said: “I normally buy them when it’s a good amount, so when there’s a lot of money I’ll put it on. I use the app, and have a quick check a couple of times a week and I’ll put it on.
“But generally my luck is pretty terrible, to be honest with you.”
When he first received the email telling him that he had won a prize, he initially thought it was a lucky dip.
“I looked at the amount and I put the phone down. And I picked the phone up again, and I looked at the amount again,” he said, “I first thought it was in thousands.”
But then he “started counting the digits”, adding: “Amazing, but also surreal.”
The couple have been trying to move house for some time, and the first thing Mr Thwaite did was visit the Rightmove website.
He said: “You go on Rightmove and you set your limits on what you can afford, and in the past everything we’ve kind of wanted is far beyond what we can afford, and in the past everything we’ve kind of wanted is far beyond what we can afford so I thought I don’t need to filter, I can actually just look at anything.”
Mrs Thwaite said that when her husband woke her up and told her of the news, her reaction was “don’t be stupid”.
She said they decided to ring the lottery office at 8am when it opens, and when the office told them they “definitely had won”, she “didn’t think it was real” and still doesn’t.
Speaking about the win, Mrs Thwaite said: “The win gives us time to dream, which we haven’t had before. We’ve had one week to think about this and we now have time to share lots of experiences and go on adventures with our family and friends.”
The couple have decided to share news of their win so they can get on and enjoy their new and exciting life.
Mrs Thwaite said “I don’t want to lie to family and friends, I want to enjoy it with them.
“Maybe, naively, I thought we could tell a few people and it would be fine. But the list gets longer and soon you realise it would be a burden asking them to keep it quiet. Telling people makes it easier.”
The couple plan to support members of their family with their newfound fortune.
“Just like many people and families across the country, the last few years have been hard. My sister and I have tried to look after the business and the 20 staff, but times are difficult in hairdressing.”
Mrs Thwaite added, “Joe has been working hard and we have always tried to put everything into doing the best we can for the children.”
Her husband added, “I have been working hard and then doing DIY on the house and you realise that you are missing out on family time. This win gives us time.
“From 5am each day we are chasing our tails until we go to bed. Just like any family, the diary is always full and the job list is long.
“We don’t have money for family days out or holidays and we want to use our good fortune to spend more time together making memories and going on adventures.
“I’d love to watch Gloucester or England rugby live with the kids but we have only really been able to watch on TV. I’d love us all to get on a plane and go on a holiday, somewhere sunny.
“It’ll be great to spend more time with my brother. We both work really hard and rarely see each other, it’ll be amazing to now be able to spend time together.”
Mrs Thwaite said, “Our two children have always talked about going to Hawaii, I’ve no idea why but we can now make that dream come true.
“They have always wanted a horse box for our ponies rather than the run down trailer we use. Just to see their faces when we can make these things come true will be worth every penny.”
The record was previously held by an anonymous ticket holder who banked £170 m in October 2019.
The new record-breakers mark the second EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK this year, with the £109m jackpot from the draw on February 4 claimed a few days later.