The man who bought the ticket that scooped the largest lottery jackpot in UK history waited until his alarm went off to tell his wife they had won £184m.
Joe Thwaite browsed property site Rightmove while he waited for Jess Thwaite to wake up, switching off the price filter for the first time.
The couple, from Gloucestershire, won more than £184 million in the EuroMillions last week making them the biggest lottery winners the country has seen.
They have been married for 11 years, and share two children who are of primary-school age. Mr Thwaite also has two children studying at university from a previous marriage.
Mr Thwaite, 49, bought the winning Lucky Dip ticket on the afternoon of last Tuesday’s draw via the National lottery app, and woke up to an email telling him he had won the next morning.
He said: “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. I spent some time searching for property with no budget limit, which was a novelty!”
Mrs Thwaite, 44, was in disbelief when she heard the news, insisting either her husband had made a mistake or the National Lottery was wrong.
Trying not to get her hopes up she continued her normal morning routine until they were able to confirm the win with Camelot.
The family celebrated the win with a meal, and have only so far treated themselves to some bedroom furniture.
While Mrs Thwaite – who runs a hairdressing salon with her sister – says she is yet to decide whether to continue working, Mr Thwaite, a communication sales engineer, has already handed in his notice.
Mrs Thwaite says her father was the inspiration behind the couple’s win.
“My dad played The National Lottery all his life and constantly dreamed of winning,” she said.
“He would always ask us what we’d do when we won, how we’d spend it, who we’d treat.”
After he died seven years ago, Mr Thwaite began buying lottery tickets.
“The family always ask me if I have a ticket for the big draws,” he said.
“While I don’t play every week, I do a Lucky Dip when there is a big jackpot. Although I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot of luck in the past.”
The pair will use the winnings to spend more time with family, particularly on holidays and experiences they have been dreaming about for some time.
“I’d love to watch Gloucester or England rugby live with the kids but we have only really been able to watch on TV,” Mr Thwaite said.
“I’d love us all to get on a plane and go on a holiday, somewhere sunny.
“It’ll be great to spend more time with my brother. We both work really hard and rarely see each other, it’ll be amazing to now be able to spend time together.”
The Thwaites’ children already have a destination in mind which their parents hope they can finally whisk them away to.
Mrs Thwaite 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 rundown trailer we use.
“Just to see their faces when we can make these things come true will be worth every penny.”
The couple also plan to use the money to help support members of their family who have been hit hard financially over the last few years.
“I don’t want to lie to family and friends, I want to enjoy it with them,” Mrs 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 together.”
The Thwaites’ win on Tuesday marks the second EuroMillions jackpot bagged in the UK this year, with an anonymous player winning £10.9 million from a draw in February.
Only 14 players have ever won a jackpot of more than £100m, with the previous record-holder an anonymous winner of £170m in October 2019.