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Cambridgeshire couple win £101m lottery prize

A couple who scooped over £101 million in the EuroMillions draw had only played twice before, they revealed today.

It really was third time lucky for Dave Dawes, 47, a shift supervisor for Premier Foods, and Angela Dawes, 43, a volunteer for the British Heart Foundation, when they hit the jackpot last Friday.

The couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, also became the third biggest lottery winners in the UK.

Mr Dawes described today how they discovered their win.

He said: "We were watching TV and the EuroMillions draw show came on so we kept watching, not thinking we would win anything.

"We got our tickets out and watched in shock as, one by one, the numbers came up on the line I'd chosen.

"We couldn't believe it! It was too late to call Camelot so I kept the ticket on me all night until the morning but we didn't sleep a wink."

The couple, who have been together for four years, were planning to get married abroad next year so the windfall means they can now enjoy the wedding of their dreams - and a new engagement ring for Angela.

They are planning to buy properties in London and abroad, and are looking forward to a trip to Las Vegas and a skiing holiday in Switzerland in the coming months.

But the windfall will also give them a chance to help friends and family close to them.

Mr Dawes is an avid Chelsea fan, having been a steward at the club in the past, so a season ticket is also on the shopping list.

He said: "I'm not worried about getting a box - I want to stand with the real fans and watch my team play.

"I'd also love to live near the ground and have Frank Lampard come over for a cup of tea!"

The couple's success means they are £1 million better off than David Bowie, the 703rd richest person in the country, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2011.

They move ahead of celebrity couples such as Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne (£95 million), and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (£48 million).

The biggest-ever EuroMillions prize was a £161 million jackpot won by Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs, Scotland, earlier this year. In October 2010 an anonymous British winner scooped £113 million in the draw.

The winning line was a selection of randomly chosen numbers.

The ticket was bought from WH Smith in Market Place in Wisbech.

The winning EuroMillions numbers on Friday 7 were 18, 26, 34, 38, 42 and the Lucky Star numbers were 5 and 8.

James Plumb, who runs Ace Taxis from an address near the Dawes' flat in Chapnall Close, Wisbech, said it was great to see someone as hard-working as Mr Dawes get such a windfall.

"Dave, I have known personally for about the last 10 years," he said.

"He worked 12-hour shifts as a forklift driver in the distribution centre for Premier Foods.

"They are lovely people. He is a really hard worker, it's nice to see someone like him win."

Mr Plumb said the first he knew of the couple's jackpot was hearing about it today.

"I heard they booked a taxi with another company for 10.30am on Sunday, but they never came out of the house," he said. "No one has seen much of them since.

"It was just today I heard about it. I heard it on the news and within seconds the place was swarming with reporters and cameras.

"I thought 'I know that name', and I couldn't put a face to the name, then I realised.

"I'd love to congratulate them and I will when I see them but I'm not sure they'll be around here for long now."

The couple said that they intended to share the massive windfall with their closest friends and family.

Ms Dawes, 43, said: "It's an excessive amount of money but we intend to make our friends and family millionaires."

She added that they had already broken the news to some of the people that they would be helping.

"They are absolutely gobsmacked, amazed. Obviously it's exciting for us and exciting for them," she said.

They are also hoping to donate money to a number of charities but they have not yet decided which ones these will be.

The couple are planning a "glamourous" wedding in Portugal next year and are going to buy Ms Dawes a new engagement ring to replace her existing £800 one.

Speaking at the Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hertfordshire, Ms Dawes said: "David had already bought me an engagement ring but now he is going to buy me a better one. All I know is it's going to be a diamond one."

Mr Dawes, 47, said he has officially retired after the life-changing win and won't be returning to work.

He said he wants a dedicated "Chelsea room" in tribute to his favourite football team in the new property he plans to buy near Stamford Bridge.

The pair currently live in a one bedroom flat but are looking to upgrade.