Joe and Jess Thwaite of Gloucester, England, became Britain's biggest-ever lottery winners after collecting a $230,357,184.62 jackpot from the May 10 EuroMillions drawing. Photo courtesy of the National Lottery
May 19 (UPI) -- A British couple became the country's biggest-ever National Lottery winners after scoring a $230,357,184.62 EuroMillions jackpot.
Joe and Jess Thwaite of Gloucester, England, won the EuroMillions jackpot May 10 after Joe purchased a ticket at 4 p.m. on the day of the drawing, the National Lottery announced.
Joe Thwaite said he was feeding his dogs at 5:15 a.m. the morning after the drawing when he noticed an email from the National Lottery.
"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," he told lottery officials.
Jess Thwaite said she had doubts about the authenticity of the win, but her mother was easier to convince.
"She had meant to ring Joe the night before to check he had a ticket and had forgotten. I told her it might not still be real but she was having none of it! She said, 'If The National Lottery have told you, then it's real,'" she said.
The couple have two children in elementary school and Joe has two college-age children from a previous marriage. They said taking care of their family will be a top priority for their prize money.
"We've had a week to think about this and we now hope to share lots of experiences and go on adventures with our family and friends," Jess Thwaite said.
She said a trip to Hawaii is likely on the horizon.
"Our 2 children have always talked about going to Hawaii. I've no idea why, but we can now make that dream come true. Just to see their faces when we can make these things come true will be worth every penny," she said.
Joe Thwaite said he has some adventuring ideas of his own.
"I'd love to watch Gloucester or England rugby live with the kids and I'd love us all to get on a plane and go on a holiday somewhere sunny," he said.
The pair said the money will also allow them to do renovations on the country home they recently purchased for the family.
"I always wanted the children to be able to get up in their pajamas, put wellies on and go out and feed the ponies and they can do that here. The fact the roof leaks and the house needs renovating was OK as it was the life we dreamed of for our family," Jess Thwaite said.