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Friday, July 15, 2011

'We couldn't sleep, it was 4am and we opened a bottle of wine... I don't even drink': £161m Euro winners are married with two children from small Scot

-Colin and Christine Weir, from Largs, in Ayrshire, scooped the jackpot
-They are catapulted to 430th place in the UK rich list
-Jackpot will earn £5m a year in interest alone - or £10 every minute
-The Weirs are almost as rich as the Beckhams

By Daily Mail Reporter

The couple who scooped the £161million EuroMillions jackpot were today named as Colin and Christine Weir - a retired pair from a small seaside town in Scotland - who until now have kept their win a complete secret since Tuesday's draw.

The husband and wife, from Largs, in Ayrshire, collected the bumper cheque which will see them enter the record books for Europe's largest ever lottery win.

The couple, who have been married for 30 years, have two children and both suffer from disabilities, said it 'felt like a dream' to scoop the mega prize.

Christine said of her new mammoth bank balance: 'We're not scared of it - we're going to have so much fun.'

Winners: Colin and Christine Weir who have scooped the £161million jackpot are presented to the media today

They said today they would to travel to China and Australia and buy houses and cars for their children.

Their daughter, Carly, 24, is studying photography at college and their son, Jamie, 22, works in a local call centre.

After discovering they had won, Christine Weir said they couldn't sleep - and it was too late to phone Camelot to say they were the winners of the bumper rollover prize.

'We just sat up. We were so full of adrenaline we couldn’t sleep. We couldn’t really do anything. We were tickled pink,' said Christine.
'It got to about 4am and dawn was breaking. We could see the sun coming up. It was magical but we still couldn’t sleep.

'We even opened a bottle of wine – and I don’t drink. We had to wait until 9 o’clock until the lottery line opened.'

When asked how they felt about being just below the Beckhams on the UK’s rich list, Colin joked: ‘We need to try for another kid.’

Mr Weir, 64, who has worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager for 23 years, said: 'When we first realised we had won, it felt like a dream. Everything went into slow motion. But it feels like a good thing; something we should not to be afraid of but for us to enjoy with the children.

'All our lives we have lived within our means and been comfortable. We appreciate that this money brings about a whole new life for us and our family.

'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.'

Mrs Weir, 55, a psychiatric nurse, said the couple were having a normal night in front of the TV on Tuesday evening until she checked the EuroMillions result on Teletext at around midnight.

She said: 'We had bought five Lucky Dips, as the jackpot was now so big. I started circling the numbers I had matched but wasn't doing very well. Then on the fifth line, all the circles seemed to join up.

Colin and Christine Weir came from the small coastal town of Largs, in North Ayrshire, it was revealed today

'I had all of them but couldn't believe what I was seeing. I checked them three or four times before going back downstairs to find Colin. He knew immediately by my face and tone that something was up.'

'After checking many times together, the news gradually hit us. The Camelot line was closed for the night but we couldn't sleep. We sat up all night and saw dawn come round the next morning.

'We were tickled pink. I even had a glass of white wine, which is something I normally only do at Christmas. It really is unbelievable.'

The couple are already thinking about new homes and cars for themselves but are most excited about the travel opportunities they can enjoy.

Mrs Weir went on: 'For Colin, holidays have never really appealed with travelling being such a hassle for him but first- class could definitely persuade him.

'We have both always wanted to see the Great Wall of China and Colin would love to stand at the foot of Ayers Rock in Australia.

'We also love art galleries so this gives us the chance to visit those in Paris and in Russia. These are all things we thought we would never see.'

Instantly rich: Colin and Christine Weir now have more money than David Beckham, left, and Dragon's Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis

Last night the lottery organisers confirmed the winning ticket from Tuesday's draw had been validated and the monster jackpot paid out.

By waiting almost two days, the Weirs lost up to £27,000 in interest, but that it is not likely to be a major concern to them.

With their astonishing win they would be able to buy two private Caribbean islands, and still have more than £30million left over.

Yesterday social networking sites including Twitter swirled with rumours about the location and identity of the winner.

Claims about the whereabouts covered most of the United Kingdom, with fevered suggestions ranging from Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, Newcastle, Watford, Kent and Cardiff.

However, this morning Camelot revealed what everyone wanted to know, that the winners of the massive prize lived in Scotland.

Jokers claimed they had won the £161million jackpot, including father-of-two Gareth Quinn from Belfast, who tweeted: 'I am not sure whether to go public or not after winning £161million in the EuroMillions – what do you think?'

The couple have displaced former postal worker Angela Kelly from East Kilbride who became Scotland's biggest winner in August 2007 when she scooped £35,425,411.80 in the EuroMillions jackpot.

At the time the postal worker was also the UK's biggest Lottery jackpot winner but her win has since been topped.

Speaking just before another EuroMillions pay out last October, she said: 'A EuroMillions win not only means you can change your life but also the lives of the people closest to you, and it is that which particularly brings me a great deal of joy.'

Camelot, operator of The National Lottery, said in a statement: 'We can confirm that a claim from the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, has been validated and the jackpot prize has been paid out.

'In the draw, one very lucky ticket-holder in the UK won the entire jackpot, banking £161,653,000.'

The UK's previous biggest lottery winner chose to remain anonymous after scooping the £113million jackpot in October last year declining a spot in the limelight.

Bookmakers Blue Square had been offering odds of 4-1 that the latest winner would be named.

In the U.S., lottery jackpots are subject to tax, which does not apply to UK players, and most winners choose a significantly lower, one-off, lump sum payment, rather than receiving the full advertised amount in annual instalments.

In January, two players of the U.S. Mega Millions lottery shared an advertised jackpot of £236m, but each picked up £75m as a lump sum which was reduced to £56m after tax.

The last major British winners to agree to publicity were Nigel Page and Justine Laycock, from Gloucestershire, who in February 2010 broke the then UK record with a £56m win.

This latest win puts all previous payouts in the shade.



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