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Couple learned of £61m EuroMillions win while celebrating wedding anniversary

A married couple won a £61 million EuroMillions jackpot while celebrating their wedding anniversary in the sun.

Richard and Debbie Nuttall, both 54, from Colne in Lancashire, “desperately drove” around the Canary Islands searching for a mobile signal to check they had one of the two winning tickets.

The couple were enjoying a week-long holiday in Fuerteventura, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, when they discovered the news.

On the second day of the holiday, accountant Mr Nuttall had woken up early to do some work when he noticed an email from The National Lottery telling him there was “exciting news” about his ticket.

“I checked my National Lottery account and saw the balance had gone up and we’d won £2.60,” he said.

After enjoying a morning driving around the island, the couple spotted a second email telling them to check their account.

Describing the moment he found out he and his wife had become £61 million richer as they went public on Wednesday, Mr Nuttall said: “We just couldn’t make sense of it.

“My first thought was it must be a scam or there was some mix-up.

“I tried calling The National Lottery’s number but my mobile phone signal was poor and the call just kept dropping.”

The couple called The National Lottery twice more but the calls kept dropping due to the poor signal in the hotel.

They then decided to start driving around the island to find a stronger signal.

“We must have looked a right sight, Deb was holding the phone as high as she could, checking the number of bars as I drove. She started shouting ‘Stop here, stop here,’ and I pulled over on a verge,” he said.

EuroMillions jackpot winners
EuroMillions winners Richard and Debbie Nuttall (Anthony Devlin/Allwyn/PA)

“We finally got through to The National Lottery and we were in the middle of answering security questions when unbelievably there was a man tapping at my window.

“We were politely trying to tell him to go away, pointing at the mobile phone to indicate we were busy but he kept on tapping. Frustratingly, he wanted to park his bus in our spot on the verge and wouldn’t give up. By this point my stress levels were through the roof.”

After the couple finally managed to confirm their win on the phone with The National Lottery, the full realisation began to sink in.

Mr Nuttall said: “By this time me and Debs are going mental… jumping up and down in our car seats, punching the air, thumping the dashboard… the car must have been rocking.”

The couple decided to fly home to the UK as soon as possible, but not before going out for a celebratory dinner.

Top of their wish list is a new family home, still in their beloved Lancashire, where they can host big family Christmas get-togethers.

They are also planning to buy a holiday home in Portugal and hope to visit soon to start their search.

EuroMillions jackpot winners
Richard and Debbie Nuttall both plan to retire early (Anthony Devlin/Allwyn/PA)

They both now plan to retire early, with Mrs Nuttall having already handed in her notice at her civil engineering job.

Mr Nuttall, who has run his own accountancy business for more than 20 years, has started telling clients he does not plan to work beyond the end of this tax year.

Mr Nuttall is planning to play more golf, both in the UK and abroad, during his free time and has already made his first purchase of a brand new BMW X5.

His wife said she is looking forward to having a bigger garden, a greenhouse and extra land for Monty the dog to enjoy.

The couple also plan to continue their support for the charity BK’S Heroes, set up in memory of their nephew Ben King after he died of a rare condition aged 27.

The jackpot prize for the January 30 draw was £123,416,462, which was shared between two ticket-holders, one in the UK and the other in Spain.