So far in the face of the hardships of cost of living, Joe and Jess Thwait can finally “dream” after winning more than £184 million (CAD$293 million), the UK’s largest Euromillions prize pool, and deciding to exit from anonymity.
The couple in their 40s from southwest England, parents of two primary school children, won £184,262,899 on Tuesday exactly 10 May, with a ticket where the winning numbers were randomly chosen by the system.
While some of the winners prefer not to be discreet, they have revealed their identities live on television.
“This winning result gives us time to dream, which we’ve never dreamed of before,” said Jess Thwaite, 44, who runs a hair salon with her sister.
She spoke of “a great relief,” noting that her family, like many others, are so far struggling with their bills.
“It’s huge for us,” says her husband, Joe, 49, a sales engineer, which usually plays out when there are big amounts at stake. Which was not the case before,” he adds, referring to the UK’s high energy bills.
It was he who discovered that they were the lucky winners of the biggest Euromillions jackpot ever won in the UK, and second in this lottery offered in ten European countries.
After checking the lottery app the day after the draw, “I looked at the amount. I turned off the phone and then picked it up again and looked at the amount again (…). I started counting the numbers and at that moment I thought it was exceptional but also unreal.”
The couple, who lives in a house in poor condition, surrounded by many animals, including ponies, dogs and even geckos, made it clear that they decided to come forward for better sharing with family and friends.
Jess and Joe Thwait will probably buy a new car and take their kids on vacation to Hawaii, where they’ve always wanted to go.
The previous record in the UK was £170m in October 2019 by an unknown player, while the biggest jackpot in Euromillions of €220m was won in France in October 2021.
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