UK couple scoops €190m lottery win

Tue, Aug 14, 2012, 01:00

Britain’s second biggest lottery winners were unveiled by UK operator Camelot today.

Husband and wife Adrian Bayford (41) and Gillian (40) from Haverhill, Suffolk, scooped £148.6 million (€190 million) in Friday’s EuroMillions draw.

The lucky couple, who have a daughter aged six and a four-year-old son, scooped the staggering sum with the winning numbers 50, 21, 17, 48 and 11, and the Lucky Star numbers 09 and 10.

The jackpot - £148,656,000 - is just behind the £161 million landed by Colin and Chris Weir, from Largs in North Ayrshire, in July last year.

They were unveiled as the winners at Down Hall Country House Hotel, near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, today.

Adrian, who co-owns a music shop in Haverhill, and Gillian, a children’s ward healthcare assistant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, struggled to fully appreciate the moment they realised they had won the jackpot as their young son had just woken-up and was crying.

Adrian said: “I had been watching the film The Bank Job on TV while Gillian was out with friends. When she got back we decided to turn over and catch-up on the news."

“Scrolling along the bottom of the screen was the news that one person had won EuroMillions, but Gillian confessed that she hadn’t had time to get a ticket."

“As a joke, I also said neither had I when in fact I had five lines upstairs waiting to be checked. By now both of our children had woken up so while Gillian was trying to settle them back to sleep, I went to check the numbers on my phone.

“Gradually the numbers seemed to match up with those on my ticket, and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I rushed back and turned on the main light at which point Gillian went ballistic!"

“The kids really were awake by now. I was trying to tell her that we had won the lottery and she was telling me to keep the noise down!”

The couple called family members to share the good news, having given up on getting the children back to bed.

Gillian said: “Everyone was very surprised to hear from us so late at night and thought we were joking at first. It took us a while to make them believe us!

“The children sensed our ecstatic mood and took full advantage of it. They finally settled back to sleep in our bed at around 2am. We decided we weren’t going to be needing our bed that night anyway!”

The couple, who have been married for eight years, spent the rest of the night on the internet deciding how to spend the huge jackpot, the result of 14 rollovers.

They are currently reviewing what they do next.

Gillian has worked in ward D2 at Addenbrooke’s for three years but intends to leave the job. Adrian co-owns the Suffolk Music Centre in Haverhill.

Recalling the moment he told his close friend and business partner, he said he told him to close the shop as “I was coming to pick him up.

“I didn’t explain why but he knows me well enough to know I wouldn’t mess him about. We went to his parents’ home nearby and sat in the garden. He couldn’t believe it but was really pleased for us.

“It was great to tell him - made it feel more real for me. We celebrated with a few beers. The shop didn’t reopen on Saturday in the end!”

Reflecting on the win, Gillian said: “Neither of us can quite comprehend just how much £148 million is. We have always worked and saved up for holidays or things that we need.

“We have lived within our means and been comfortable, but we have been like ships in the night to earn the income we needed. It will be fantastic to spend more time as a family now.

“This money has come at the right time for us and is going to benefit the whole family. The win is not just for us, it is for us to share and everyone’s life is going to be so much more enjoyable and stress-free.”

Adrian and Gillian plan to start the search for their dream home, complete with a kitchen with all mod cons.

Gillian also plans to buy the car of her dreams, an Audi Q7, while Adrian has always wanted to visit the Canadian Rockies by train. The children want to visit Disney World.

The couple plan to take time to consider how else they will use the money to help others.

Gillian said: “Children’s charities are close to our hearts so we will be exploring how we can use this money to help those charities but it is too soon to say exactly what.”

The Bayfords are the seventh big EuroMillions jackpot winners from the United Kingdom so far this year, according to Camelot.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List, they now have a fortune to rival Jamie and Jools Oliver (£150 million), Sir Tom Jones (£140 million) and Eric Clapton (£130 million). Their £148 million win places them 516th in Britain’s Rich List.