So far faced with the difficulties of the cost of living, Joe and Jess Thwaite can finally “dream” after winning more than 184 million pounds (293M $ CAD), the biggest prize pool of Euromillions in the United Kingdom, and decided to come out of anonymity.
The couple in their 40s from the South West of England, parents of two primary school children, won £184,262,899 exactly on Tuesday May 10, with a ticket where the winning numbers had been randomly chosen by the system.
While some winners prefer to remain discreet, they revealed their identities live on television.
“This winning result gives us time to dream, which we didn’t have before,” said Jess Thwaite, 44, who runs a hair salon with her sister.
She spoke of “huge relief”, noting that her family, like so many others, have so far struggled with their bills.
“It’s huge for us,” says her husband Joe, 49, a sales engineer, who usually plays when there are large amounts at stake. “I turned on the water heater the other day (… ) thinking that everything was fine, which was not the case before”, he adds in reference to soaring energy bills in the United Kingdom.
It was he who discovered that they were the lucky winners of the biggest Euromillions jackpot ever won in the United Kingdom, and the second for this lottery offered in ten European countries.
screenshot | Reuters
After checking on the lottery app the day after the draw, “I looked at the amount. I put the phone down 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 extraordinary but also unreal”.
The couple, who live in a house in poor condition, surrounded by many animals, including ponies, dogs and even geckos, explained that they had decided to come forward to better share with family and friends.
Jess and Joe Thwaite 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 won in October 2019 by an anonymous player, while the biggest Euromillions jackpot of €220m was won in France in October 2021.