A married couple have said they went straight on to Rightmove to look at £7 million houses after landing 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 in the draw on Tuesday May 10.
The couple told the PA news agency they planned to share the win with extended family, with even Mr Thwaite’s ex-wife being “over the moon” for them.
Mr Thwaite, a communications sales engineer, and Mrs Thwaite, who runs a hairdressing salon with her sister, have been married for 11 years and have two primary school-aged children. Mr Thwaite has two university-aged children from a previous marriage.
Mr Thwaite said he had already handed his notice in at work, and despite not being “a great car person”, the 49-year-old told PA he wanted to upgrade his small Hyundai to his dream car – a Skoda Superb estate.
Asked how many bedrooms the couple had searched for with their dream home on the property website, 44-year-old Mrs Thwaite said: “It’s not the number of bedrooms, it was just the top amount you could spend.”
Asked what he had set as an upper price limit, Mr Thwaite told PA: “I don’t know, I think I got up to about £7 million and then I just thought I was being stupid. I thought ‘what are you doing?'”
“It was just for fun because we thought it wasn’t real. He just played for a minute and just dreamed for a minute,” Mrs Thwaite said.
Her husband added: “Yes, it was just a dream, like ‘imagine this’.”
The jackpot record was previously held by an anonymous ticket-holder who banked £170 million in October 2019.
The Thwaites’ good luck was the second EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK this year, with a £109 million prize from the draw on February 4 claimed a few days later.
Addressing what he had told his ex-wife about their win, Mr Thwaite said: “Of course, I had to let her know about this.
“I spoke to her and she’s over the moon for us.
“I had a long call with her – because obviously putting the children through university… she was over the moon, absolutely over the moon for them and what this can mean for the children going forwards.
“But yes, obviously we keep in contact and we had a good chat.”
The first look at our Biggest EVER UK winners (and Dermot) 🎉
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) May 19, 2022
In a short statement released after the couple went public with their win, Mrs Thwaite’s hairdressing salon, Blow Hair in Tewkesbury, said they wished them a “massive congratulations” and they were “over the moon for them”.
Although Mr and Mrs Thwaite went straight to Rightmove after their win, the couple had only recently bought a new house.
Asked if their new house was still their “forever home” now they had landed the jackpot, Mrs Thwaite said: “We don’t know. I don’t know.
“It was our dream. It was our absolute dream to have the ponies at home.”
Mr Thwaite added: “We could do the house up how we wanted it and make the couple of changes that we want to put our stamp on the place.”
“But I think we’ve got some time and bit more room to dream,” Mrs Thwaite said.
Questioned on whether he would buy a new car, Mr Thwaite replied: “I’m going to be rubbish at this because I’m not a great car person.
“My dream car was a (Skoda) Superb Estate because of the amount of stuff you can get in the boot, but I haven’t got that, I’ve got a Hyundai.
“My family is quite grumpy with me because I’m really boring with cars.
“This is new to me but I’m going to get something that does the job and is a big upgrade to my old little car that’s covered in dents.”
Speaking about what their children want to spend money on, Mrs Thwaite answered: “When we told our youngest two children, ‘if you could have anything in the world now that we have this money, what would you want?’, both of them said a holiday.
“We don’t go on holiday, they have ponies and everything goes into them.
“So my youngest said she wants to go to Hawaii. We have no idea why Hawaii, but we think it’s YouTube.
“She’s been talking about Hawaii for two years – and when we said she could go to Hawaii she was just jumping up and down with joy.
“Our eldest wants to go to America and do a ranch drive on a pony.
“She is obsessed with her pony – and now we can invite the rest of our family to do those with us – that’s the most important thing for us.”
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.”