A married couple have been revealed as the winners of Britain’s biggest EuroMillions lottery jackpot of £184 million.
Joe and Jess Thwaite, from Gloucester, scooped a record-breaking £184,262,899 with a Lucky Dip ticket on the draw on Tuesday May 10.
Joe, 49, a 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.
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.
“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 million in October 2019.
The new record-breakers mark the second EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK this year, with the £109 million jackpot from the draw on February 4 claimed a few days later.
At a press conference on Thursday, Mrs Thwaite said even though it is “wonderful and exciting” it is also “a massive relief for everybody that’s been struggling with all their bills and all their things for all this time”.
She said: “We’re like every normal family that have that thing so it’s just a huge relief as well.”
The couple said their financial situation is “not horrendous” but the cost of living crisis has “affected our lives”.
They said they have a lot of animals like ponies, geckos, chickens and dogs, with Mrs Thwaite saying: “We have too many things, we’re too busy.
“We just want to create that kind of lifestyle for our children. We’re right at the bottom because we’ve pushed everything to get this house, and to have our ponies at home and that’s been our dream.”
On the cost of living crisis, Mr Thwaite said they bought the house when the economy was better so they had been struggling, adding: “This is huge for us.”
Mr Thwaite said he was working on Tuesday and by 4pm he thought he “better buy a ticket” because he was aware of the jackpot.
He said he regularly buys tickets, adding: “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.”
His wife Jess added: “He tries to convince me to buy them thinking I’ll have more luck, but actually it’s him.”
Mr Thwaite said that when he received an email telling him he won a prize he thought it was a lucky dip.
“Then 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.
“I first thought it was in the thousands,” he said, adding that he thought it was “life-changing”.
But then he “started counting the digits”, adding: “Amazing, but also surreal.”
He said they have been trying to move house for quite a while and he went on Rightmove.
“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 so I thought I don’t need to filter, I can actually just look at anything,” he said.
Asked for the reason why they decided to go public, Mrs Thwaite said: “I feel this is the way we can be honest with them all, we can enjoy it with them all.”
Mrs Thwaite said her husband “took on the baton” of doing the lottery from her father, who died seven years ago.
Mrs Thwaite said her father “always used the same numbers”, but her husband said: “I always go with a lucky dip because I think that’s easier.”
Asked if there is one thing they have always dreamed of buying, Mrs Thwaite said: “We’re not really those materialistic people. If you saw our house you would know.
“I’ll probably buy a new car I’m sure, or something like that, but we haven’t got a huge… we’d love to go on a holiday family.”
She added: “We had to go buy suitcases to come here because we don’t go on holiday. We never go on holiday. So our kids would just die to go to the sun and do that kind of thing so I’d love to go and do that.”