'Time to dream': £184m EuroMillions winners vow to splash out on 'family adventures'

19 May 2022, 10:48 | Updated: 19 May 2022, 16:27

Joe and Jess Thwaite are now richer than Harry Kane (£33 million) and Paul Pogba (£64 million) combined
Joe and Jess Thwaite are now richer than Harry Kane (£33 million) and Paul Pogba (£64 million) combined. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The couple who won a record-breaking £184m EuroMillions jackpot have been revealed as Joe and Jess Thwaite, a couple in their 40s from Gloucester, who today went public with the enormous sum.

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The couple, who won with a lucky dip, are now worth more than footballers Harry Kane (£33 million) and Paul Pogba (£64 million) combined.

With their winnings they could live on board a superyacht for around £750,000 per week for over four and a half years, before their huge prize fund was depleted.

They could also buy four Caribbean islands, with a few million pounds to spare, or the equivalent of 11 six-bedroom luxury properties in London's Hyde Park.

Joe and Jess Thwaite scooped £184million on the Euromillions
Joe and Jess Thwaite scooped £184million on the Euromillions. Picture: Alamy

The pair have two primary school-age children, and Mr Thwaite has two children at university from a previous marriage. Mr Thwaite, 49, a communication sales engineer, and Mrs Thwaite, 44, who runs a hairdressing salon, have been married for 11 years.

After going public with their win, the couple are both going to quit their jobs.

Ms Thwaite said: "I'm going to take some time with that and what we're going to do."

Her husband Joe Thwaite said he has already handed his notice in. He said: "I'm leaving work."

Mrs Thwaite added: "I think we're going to have a full-time job managing all of this for quite some time."

They are catapulted to the top of the National Lottery's rich list.

Asked if there is one thing they have always dreamed of buying, Jess Thwaite said: "We're not really those materialistic people. If you saw our house you would know.

"I'll probably buy a new car I'm sure, or something like that, but we haven't got a huge...we'd love to go on a holiday family."

She added: "We had to go buy suitcases to come here because we don't go on holiday. We never go on holiday. So our kids would just die to go to the sun and do that kind of thing so I'd love to go and do that."

Mr Thwaite said the main thing their children have talked about is holidays.

He said: "Our youngest constantly has always wanted to go to Hawaii. I think YouTube's to blame for that." His wife added: "We have no idea why but they're obsessed with Hawaii."

Mr Thwaite said their other child wants to go to a Texas ranch.

Mr Thwaite revealed that he initially thought he’d won £184,000 before counting the digits on an email and realising he’d won £184,000,000.

He said that when he received an email telling him he won a prize he thought it was a lucky dip.

"Then I looked at the amount and I put the phone down. And I picked the phone up again, and I looked at the amount again.

"I first thought it was in thousands," he said, adding that he thought it was "life-changing".

But then he "started counting the digits", adding: "Amazing, but also surreal."

He said they have been trying to move house for quite a while and he went on Right Move.

"You go on Right Move and you set your limits on what you can afford, and in the past everything we've kind of wanted is far beyond what we can afford, and in the past everything we've kind of wanted is far beyond what we can afford so I thought I don't need to filter, I can actually just look at anything," he said.

He said he thought he "better buy a ticket" because he was aware of the jackpot.

He said he regularly buys tickets, adding: "I normally buy them when it's a good amount, so when there's a lot of money I'll put it on. I use the app, and have a quick check a couple of times a week and I'll put it on.

"But generally my luck is pretty terrible, to be honest with you."

His wife Jess said: "He tries to convince me to buy them thinking I'll have more luck, but actually it's him."

Ms Thwaite 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."

She said she didn't believe the news at first, saying: "It's obviously wrong, it's something wrong with the app.

"We'll call at 8am and check if it's real," she said.

The huge win was later confirmed by a lottery worker who told them: "You really have won."

Jess said her mother-in-law screamed in the car park of where she worked when she learned the news.

Asked if they are worried about scammers or people coming forward who may want to take their money, Ms Thwaite said: "I haven't even thought of anything like that. To be honest, we're a week in.

"We're, like, so overwhelmed by this stuff. I just haven't even got to consider that if I'm honest."

Her husband Joe Thwaite added: "We're trying to think of all the positives. That's the main thing of this is there's a lot of positives."

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Only 14 players have ever won a jackpot of more than £100 million, with the previous record-holder an anonymous winner of £170 million in October 2019.

Camelot's Andy Carter, senior winners' adviser at The National Lottery, said previously: "This is absolutely incredible news! Last night saw history made with the biggest ever National Lottery prize won by a single UK ticket-holder, and we're ecstatic that we've now received a claim.”

Other winners of huge lottery fortunes include Frances and Patrick Connolly. They were the sole winners of a £115m jackpot in 2018, and have since given away more than £60m of their fortune. 

Adrian and Gillian Bayford split less than a year after their £148m win in 2012. 

Gillian moved to Scotland with their two children, while Adrian enjoys luxury holidays with family and friends. 

He also owns 38 homes which he rents out, and opened a film and record memorabilia store in Cambridge.

Chris and Colin Weir scooped £161m in 2011. 

They ended up divorcing after 38 years of marriage and Mr Weir died in 2019 at the age of 71. 

At the time of his death, Mr Weird had spent £40m of his fortune on things including luxury cars, artwork and racehorses. 

Mother of three Bev Doran had been living on benefits and was struggling to pay the rent on her council house but won £14.5m on the lottery, going on to buy a five-bed home for her family. 

She reportedly still shops in her local Morrisons and gave away a large chunk of her winnings to family.