LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The winners of Europe’s biggest ever lottery jackpot see their future as “bright and golden” after winning 161,653,000 pounds ($260.58 million) in the Euromillions draw, they told a news conference on Friday.
Colin Weir, 64, and his wife Chris, 55, from the seaside resort of Largs, near Glasgow, plan to spend the money on traveling, new homes and driving lessons for their children.
“We were tickled pink with the whole notion of winning so much money. We just couldn’t believe it — it was sinking in by inches,” said Chris, a retired psychiatric nurse, of the moment she realized they had won the jackpot on Tuesday night.
“My hope is that we’re as strong a family and we have as good a time as we’ve always had, that our future seems to be as bright and golden as it is this morning.”
The couple missed the televised Euromillions draw, only finding out they had won after Chris checked television information service Teletext around midnight, when the lottery phone line had already closed, meaning they had to wait until the morning to confirm their win.
“We sat up, we were excited, exhilarated, we didn’t go to sleep, not a jot of sleep the whole night,” said Colin.
The prize pot had grown after a series of rollovers in which there was no winner in the main draw.
The Weirs had played Euromillions using Lucky Dip, meaning their five numbers and two so-called Lucky Star numbers were selected by machine at random. They bought five lines and it was the final line that contained the winning combination.
Colin, a former cameraman and studio manager at Scottish Television said he hoped to buy a box at the stadium of Barcelona soccer club, the Camp Nou, and visit Ayers Rock in Australia.
The couple said they plan to stay in their current home but will buy new homes for their children, Carly, 24 and Jamie, 22 and other houses elsewhere.
The Weirs said they will also give money to good causes but will take their time to make sure money is targeted effectively.
“We now have so many new opportunities to explore but we won’t rush it. For us, it will be a gradual change with choices to be made,” said Colin in a statement.
The couple had not told any friends about their win before the news conference and said they would have preferred to stay anonymous but knew they would not be able to enjoy their winnings if they didn’t go public.
A spokeswoman for Camelot, which operates the National Lottery and Euromillions in the UK, said the couple had won the largest jackpot ever recorded in Europe, beating wins from other European lotteries such as Spain’s El Gordo.
Reporting by Clare Kane; Editing by Steve Addison