£81m richer (because £20m is for their friends)

Lottery winners will give away part of their fortune – but wife's engagement ring is getting an upgrade

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The Independent Online

If you are a close acquaintance of Dave and Angela Dawes, things may be looking up. The couple plan to make 20 of their closest friends and relatives millionaires after winning the £101m jackpot in Friday's EuroMillions lottery.

The couple, who currently live in a one-bedroom flat in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, became the third-biggest lottery winners in the UK – watching, with increasing amazement, as their numbers came up. "I had to calm her down. She was in meltdown," said Mr Dawes. They soon realised they were the sole winners.

He slipped the winning ticket into his trouser pocket, locked all the doors and windows and sat with a bottle of whisky until the EuroMillions phone line opened for him to claim the prize.

Mr Dawes, 47, a shift supervisor for Premier Foods, and Ms Dawes, 43, avolunteer with the British Heart Foundation, had played the EuroMillions draw only twice before.

"We won't be keeping our one-bedroom flat," said Ms Dawes, who has already taken her partner's surname and is now planning the lavish wedding they could not previously afford. Her £800 engagement ring is about to receive a multi-carat upgrade.

Mr Dawes, an avid fan of Chelsea Football Club, will buy a town house close to the club's ground at Stamford Bridge. The couple, both previously married with grown-up children, also plan to use their good fortune to help others. Mr Dawes said: "We've drawn up a list of 20 people who we are going to make millionaires – anyone who has helped us through our lives."

Mr Dawes told his shift manager he was unable to work on Sunday and has now officially "retired". Ms Dawes said it would be too difficult to return to the shop where she volunteered until last week. They agreed that they had come into an "excessive" amount of money and promised to support a number of children's charities.

Big winners: Where are they now?


Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in Ayrshire won a record European lottery prize of £161m in July. Mr Weir said he planned to buy a box at Barcelona's Nou Camp ground.


Nigel Page and Justine Laycock bought a £4m mansion and gave their cleaner their old home in Cirencester after winning a £56m EuroMillions jackpot in February 2010.


The world's biggest single lotto winner was Jack Whittaker, of West Virginia, in 2002. Since then, he has had hundreds of thousands of dollars stolen, had run-ins with the law and suffered tragedies including his daughter and grand-daughter's deaths.