How did British couples cope with scooping £100m-plus prizes?

EuroMillions winner’s £201million jackpot dwarfs anything won before – but how did British couples cope with scooping £100m-plus prizes?

  • Joe and Jess Thwaite held previous record when they scooped £195million

Last night a EuroMillions ticketholder scooped a record jackpot prize of £201million.

The lucky winner from Austria has become as rich as Rod Stewart and Ed Sheeran overnight, leapfrogging their estimated £200 million fortunes.

Another five lottery players went home with £1,191,020.20, officials announced. 

The bumper jackpot tops nearly anything ever won before, with one lucky Briton coming close last year after bagging a £195million prize.

Several other British couples have notably gone public after winning over £100million. While some splashed out on supercars and mansions, others took a more lowkey approach.

Gloucestershire couple Joe and Jess Thwaite scooped £184million on May 10 2022

Colin and Chris Weir split their £161million winnings between them. Sadly Colin passed away less than a decade after his big win

Read on for a full list of Britain’s biggest jackpot winners, plus some other notable huge wins.

1. Anonymous, £195million, July 19 2022

An anonymous British player became the largest ever EuroMillions winner after scooping £195million – the maximum amount possible at the time.

Their lucky numbers were 6, 23, 27, 40 and 41, with Lucky Stars 2 and 12.

2. Unknown, £185million, October 15 2021

The second largest EuroMillions in of all time was claimed by an unknown lucky winner thought originally to be in France. The winning ticket was then revealed to have been purchased in Tahiti, part of French Polynesia – and therefore still eligible.

According to lottery officials, the winner was a ‘young woman’ who had never entered before. She said that she wanted to use her winnings to travel the world to see snow, but added that she would still walk barefooted.

3. Joe and Jess Thwaite, £184million, May 10 2022

Britain’s biggest known winners are Gloucestershire couple Joe and Jess Thwaite who scooped £184million on May 10 2022.

They went public to avoid ‘burdening’ their friends and family with having to keep the secret.

The parents of two children chose to spend their winnings wisely – planning a trip around the world to celebrate while setting £38,000 aside for a second-hand Volvo.

Hair salon owner Jess, 44, stepped back from her business with her sister after finding out from her husband Joe, 49, a communications engineer, that he had bought the winning tickets online.

The Thwaites claimed they went public with their win to avoid ‘burdening’ their friends with their secret

4. Unknown, £183million, December 11 2020

A lucky winner from south France picked up broke the then record at the end of 2020.

The recipient is only known as ‘Guy’, and went on to use the cash to help fight climate change after setting up an environmental foundation called Anyama.

Explaining his noble aims, Guy said that he wished to ‘protect the living and watch over our own future’. 

5. Unknown, £182million, February 26 2021

Technically eclipsing number 4 on the list in the amount won in euros, the fifth biggest overnight multi-millionaire purchased two tickets for 7 Swiss Francs in Switzerland.

6. Unknown, £171million, September 23 2022

Another lucky, but unknown, Briton bagged a jackpot of £171million last year – the third EuroMillions win to top £100million in 2022, all of which were from the UK.

7. Anonymous, £170million, October 8 2019

Yet another cash windfall was picked up by a Briton in October 2019.

The jackpot was finally won after 18 consecutive rollovers, four more draws and a ‘must be won’ draw before an anonymous claimed Britain’s biggest lottery prize at the time.

8. Adrian and Gillian Bayford, £148million, August 10 2012

Perhaps one of the most divisive wins in lottery history, the Bayfords separated just 15 months after scooping the jackpot.

Despite healthcare assistant Gillian admitting she would have remained anonymous, the couple went public and soon splashed out on flashy cars, helicopter flights and luxury mansions.

Adrian and Gillian Bayford separated just 15 months after winning £148million in 2012, but not before splashing out on flashy cars, helicopter flights and luxury mansions

The pair were living in separate mansions after their relationship had broken down ‘irretrievably’

Other big winners: Colin and Chris Weir, £161million, July 12 2011

Colin and Chris Weir made history back in 2011 after winning Europe’s largest ever lottery draw.

The parents of two from Ayrshire split the money between them.

However, less than a decade after his big win, Colin passed away aged 71, having given most of his winnings to his family and friends, as well as donating some to charities.

He also purchased some nice cars, property and a share of his favourite football club – Partick Thistle FC. 

Before he died, Colin notably used his winnings to purchase a share of his favourite football club, Partick Thistle, where a stand is named after him

Other big winners: Frances and Patrick Connolly, £115million, 1 January 2019 

Hartlepool couple Frances and Patrick Connolly from Armagh, Northern Ireland, won the EuroMillions in January 2019.

Former social worker Frances set up two charitable foundations after she and her husband won on New Year’s Day. 

She estimated that they had given away almost £60 million to charitable causes, as well as friends and family.

Frances and Patrick Connolly estimated they had given away almost £60million of their EuroMillions win in January 2019 to charitable causes, as well as friends and family

Europe’s largest win: Anonymous, £318million, 16 February 2023

Italy’s SuperEnalotto has set several huge lottery records, with five tickets winning north of £100million since 2009.

The largest of these came in February this year, when a jackpot of 371million€ was split among 90 players.

And finally… The World’s largest jackpot win  

Last but not least, the largest lottery jackpot ever claimed was in the US Powerball on when a single ticket won $2billion dollars.

Due to US tax rules on lottery wins, the winner only took home around $997million though. 

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