Joe and Jess Thwaite: who are EuroMillions lottery winners from Gloucester who won £184 million jackpot?
The couple can now buy four Caribbean islands or the equivalent of 11 six-bedroom luxury properties in London’s Hyde Park
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A Gloucestershire couple have been announced as the winners of Britain’s biggest ever lottery jackpot.
The pair are taking home a whopping £184 million.
They were named as Joe and Jess Thwaite at a press conference today (Thursday 19 May) in Cheltenham as they celebrated their huge win.
Back in 2010, Justine Laycock and Nigel Page, of Cirencester, were announced as winners of a £56m jackpot.
Who are the EuroMillions jackpot winners?
Jess, 44, manages the business side of a hairdressing salon that she runs with her sister, while her husband Joe, 49, is a communications sales engineer.
The couple, who have been married for 11 years, have two primary school age children.
Joe also has two children at university from a previous marriage.
When Jess’ father passed away around seven years ago, Joe took on the mantle of playing The National Lottery.
Jess said: "My dad played the National Lottery all his life and constantly dreamed of winning.
"He’d always ask us what we’d do when we won, how we’d spend it, who we’d treat. It was a regular conversation and I feel like he was preparing us."
Joe said: “The family always ask me if I have a ticket for the big draws. 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."
Jess continued: "Plenty of times Joe has said to me that he’s not lucky enough and I should do it.
"I’m so glad he carried on, and while my dad had prepared me, I’m not sure anyone is really prepared for a win like this."
How did they find out they had won?
They bought their EuroMillions lucky dip ticket on the National Lottery App and received an email the next morning saying there was good news regarding their ticket.
Joe said: "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, 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."
Eventually the alarm rang and Joe told her: "I’ve got a secret, I’ve got something to tell you."
Jess’ initial reaction when presented with the news was disbelief, thinking Joe had it wrong, the National Lottery app was wrong or that it was a joke.
Eventually she concluded that it wasn’t worth getting too excited about as it probably wasn’t true.
She got up to make a coffee and started their normal morning routine.
The couple called Camelot once The National Lottery Line opened at 8am and then had the life-changing win confirmed.
Despite being told they’d just become the UK’s biggest-ever winners, the pair still didn’t quite believe it and so carried on as normal doing the school run and settling down to work from home.
What will they do with money?
Jess 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.”
The couple revealed they want to do some DIY jobs around the house.
Mrs Thwaite said there is "so much work to do" and they currently have a "bucket in the hallway that collects the rain every time it rains".
She added: "We’ve saved to do some building to the house and we’re waiting until it’s not as expensive.”
Her husband added that the hairdressing salon is "really struggling" as fewer people came in during COVID and electricity bills are going up.
Their winning numbers on 10 May were 3, 25, 27, 28 and 29 - plus the Lucky Star numbers 4 and 9.
This is the second EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK this year with £109m being won in February.
The couple can now buy four Caribbean islands, with a few million quid to spare, or the equivalent of 11 six-bedroom luxury properties in London’s Hyde Park.