UK’s biggest-ever lottery winners have ‘time to dream’ after scooping £184m jackpot

Joe and Jess Thwaite are largest lottery jackpot winners in UK history

Zaina Alibhai
Thursday 19 May 2022 18:06
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‘It didn’t feel real’: Britain's biggest ever lottery winners on winning £184m

The couple who scooped the UK’s largest-ever lottery jackpot say the £184m win has given them “time to dream”.

Joe and Jess Thwaite, from Gloucestershire, won more than £184m in the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday 10 May with a lucky dip ticket via The National Lottery app.

Mr Thwaite, 49, woke up early to an email telling him he had won the next morning.

“I looked it up and saw we’d won. I saw how much and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t go back to sleep,” he said.

“I didn’t want to wake Jess up so I just laid there for what seemed like forever. I spent some time searching for property with no budget limit, which was a novelty!”

Ms Thwaite, 44, was in disbelief when she heard the news, insisting either her husband had made a mistake or The National Lottery was wrong.

The winning ticket was bought via The National Lottery app on the afternoon of the draw

Trying not to get her hopes up she continued her normal morning routine until they were able to confirm the win with Camelot.

The family celebrated the win with a meal, and have only so far treated themselves to some bedroom furniture.

While Ms Thwaite – who runs a hairdressing salon with her sister – says she is yet to decide whether to continue working, Mr Thwaite, a communication sales engineer, has already handed in his notice.

Ms 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 £170m in October 2019.

The new record-breakers mark the second EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK this year, with an anonymous player winning £109m from a draw in February. Only 14 players have ever won a jackpot of more than £100m.

Ms Thwaite says her father was the inspiration behind the couple’s win.

“My dad played The National Lottery all his life and constantly dreamed of winning,” she said.

“He would always ask us what we’d do when we won, how we’d spend it, who we’d treat.”

Mr Thwaite has handed in his notice to his employers

After he died seven years ago, Mr Thwaite began buying lottery tickets.

“The family always ask me if I have a ticket for the big draws,” he said.

“While I don’t play every week, I do a Lucky Dip when there is a big jackpot. Although I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot of luck in the past.”

The pair will use the winnings to spend more time with family, particularly on holidays and experiences they have been dreaming about for some time.

“I’d love to watch Gloucester or England rugby live with the kids, but we have only really been able to watch on TV,” Mr Thwaite said.

“I’d love us all to get on a plane and go on a holiday, somewhere sunny.

The couple hope to whisk their family away on holiday

“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.”

The couple also plan to use the money to help support members of their family who have been hit hard financially over the last few years.

“I don’t want to lie to family and friends, I want to enjoy it with them,” Ms Thwaite said.

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