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Britain's biggest-ever lottery winners have been named as Joe and Jess Thwaite after they successfully scooped up the £184 million EuroMillions prize.
News of the couple's win was confirmed by lottery operator Camelot on 10 May, when the winning numbers were announced as 3, 25, 27, 28 and 29, plus the Lucky Star numbers 4 and 9.
Joe, 49, and Jess, 44, from Gloucestershire, officially gained the title of the UK's largest-ever National Lottery winners as they correctly guessed all seven numbers through the The National Lottery App after the prize pot had been rolled over since March.
At a grand total of £184,262,899.10, the pot is 5,781 times the UK’s average annual salary of £31,285.
Camelot urged members of the public to check their ticket numbers following the draw last week, with Andy Carter, senior winners' adviser at The National Lottery, confirming the win as he said: "What an amazing night for one UK ticket-holder who has scooped the incredible £184 million EuroMillions jackpot – they have become the UK's biggest ever National Lottery winner."
The EuroMillions jackpot winners are the second in the UK this year after a member of the public who chose to remain anonymous secured £109m with their ticket on 4 February.
Like the previous winner, the couple could have chosen to remain anonymous but instead decided to reveal their identity to the public, as well as their plans for spending the money and how it will transform their lives.
Joe and Jess married 11 years ago and have two primary-school age children together, while Joe also has two children at university from a previous marriage. The father works as a communications sales engineer while Jess manages the business side of a hairdressing salon she runs with her sister.
Commenting on their lucky ticket, 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 were alerted to their win the morning after the draw, when Joe received an email from The National Lottery saying, ‘Good news, you’ve won a prize’.
“I looked it up and saw we’d won," Joe said. "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! "
Joe waited until Jess's alarm went off until he told her about the prize, saying: "I’ve got a secret, I’ve got something to tell you.”
Jess initially believed the result couldn't be right and went about her morning routine, but when they called The National Lottery Line at 8am they learned they really were the UK’s biggest-ever winners.
Celebrating THE BIGGEST EVER #NationalLottery win 🍾🥂🍾— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) May 11, 2022
Congrats to the lucky UK #EuroMillions #winner who scooped the £184M jackpot in Tuesday’s (10th May) draw!#DreamComeTrueMoney pic.twitter.com/J9Oo0OTwdz
With £184m in the bank, Jess and Joe plan to support members of the family, fix up their home and go on holiday 'somewhere sunny'.
Jess said: "Our two children have always talked about going to Hawaii, I’ve no idea why but we can now make that dream come true.
"They have always wanted a horse box for our ponies rather than the run down trailer we use. Just to see their faces when we can make these things come true will be worth every penny.”
The EuroMillions lottery is played across nine countries, namely Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, and has draws every Tuesday and Friday night.
Players in the UK pay £2.50 per line to get involved, selecting five numbers between one and 50 and Lucky Stars between one and 12. Successful players could win anywhere between the minimum jackpot of £14.4m and the highest figure of £195m.
Prior to last week's announcement, the previous record for the lottery win stood at £170m won by an anonymous ticket holder in October 2019.
For every National Lottery ticket sold, the company puts a proportion of the money to Good Cause projects in sectors including arts, sport, heritage, health, education, environment and community/charity.