We’ve all thought about what we’d do if we won the lottery and saw millions of pounds land in our bank account – whether it’s investing in a yacht or buying our favourite football club.
And tonight, one lucky person could have their dreams realised as the EuroMillions lottery offers its biggest ever prize of £172 million.
While we all have a plan for how we’d spend the jackpot if we became rich beyond our wildest dreams overnight, some UK winners have turned their plans into reality after scooping the top prizes.
Colin and Chris Weir: £161,653,00
The couple from Largs in Ayrshire, Scotland, became the biggest lottery winners in Europe after winning the jackpot in 2011.
Colin had worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager before bagging the prize, while Chris worked as a psychiatric nurse.
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Their big win saw them jump onto the Sunday Times Rich List – just above Beatle Ringo Starr and Tom Jones.
The pair, who had been married for 30 years and had two kids at the time, spent their money on a mansion – before later upgrading to a bigger one – and a fleet of cars.
They also made several £1 million donations to the Scottish National Party over the years.
Colin was also praised when he paid to refurbish Largs Thistle FC’s football ground and donated £1 million to Partick Thistle FC to clear up debts and help pay for a youth academy.
Keen to help others with their cash, the pair set up a charitable trust which supported Scots community groups and charities.
Tragically, Colin passed away two days after Christmas in 2019 at the age of 72, after reportedly suffering from acute kidney failure and sepsis.
Adrian and Gillian Bayford: £148,656,000
Gillian and Adrian, from Haverhill in Suffolk, bagged the jackpot in August 2012 and said they planned to splash out on luxury cars and holidays.
Before realising they’d won, Adrian joked to his wife that he’d not actually bought a ticket. Then, when he dropped the act and checked the ticket he’d bought earlier, he realised it was the winner.
Sadly, the couple separated 15 months after the big win, but they remained on good terms.
After the split Adrian moved into a Grade-II listed Georgian mansion. He used his 90 acres of land to stage the Cambridge Rock Festival when it was at risk of being cancelled.
Two years after the win, Adrian met a new beau, Sam Burbidge and whisked her away to the Maldives. Just two weeks after meeting, he popped the question, but the pair split three years later.
Gillian found love again with car salesman Alan Warnock.
The Sun on Sunday recently reported that the couple’s son Cameron, 13, was in a critical condition after a quad bike accident in August.
Cameron was put into an induced coma after being hit by a car driven by his sister, Aimee, 15, when they were playing on the grounds of their dad’s estate.
A source told the paper: “Adrian just feels consumed with guilt.
“He allowed his son and daughter to go out around the estate on those vehicles.
“His daughter is too young to drive on a public road, but as it is a private estate she did not need a licence. The kids were on his watch as they were with him while their mum was in Scotland.”
While Cameron came out of the induced coma doctors put him into, it’s reported he still has a “long way to go” to full recovery.
An anonymous UK ticket holder scooped the whopping £122.5 million prize in April 2021.
In April 2018, a single ticket-holder scooped £121 million after a jackpot rollover. It was the third biggest lotto prize ever won in the UK, but the lucky ticket-holder decided to remain anonymous.
Frances and Patrick Connolly: £114,969,775
The grandparents, from County Armagh in Northern Island, saw in the year 2019 in style after scooping the enormous jackpot on New Year’s Day.
The pair, who won the jackpot after buying a Lucky Dip ticket online, checked their numbers on several websites before it sunk in that they were the winners.
When they realised, they celebrated with a cuppa and a hug.
Sliding back in his chair in disbelief, he then turned to partner of 30 years Frances, and asked her: “Do you want the good news…?”
Speaking at a press conference three days later, Patrick said: “We really didn’t know what to do or how to react and we didn’t sleep a wink that night.
“We rang Camelot at 8am in the morning to verify the win. Then it started to dawn on us that it was true even though it still hasn’t really sunk in.”
In December 2020, the selfless pair revealed they’d given away half their winnings after making a list of 50 friends and family they wanted to help.
They have also set up two charitable foundations, the Kathleen Graham Trust in Northern Ireland and the PFC Trust in County Durham, where they now live.
One UK ticket-holder scooped a massive £113million jackpot in October 2010 but decided not to go public.
For the second time in 2021 a UK ticket holder scooped an enormous jackpot – but the winner has kept their identity secret.
Neil Trotter – £107,932,603.20
When Neil Trotter celebrated his jackpot win in 2014, he made a joke referencing everyone’s favourite sitcom.
“Being Trotters we were always going to be millionaires one day,” he said.
But he added it was likely the Only Fools and Horses jokes would follow him for the rest of his life.
“I can see this is going to run and run.”
In an eerie premonition, he had told staff at his dad’s office on the day of his win that “this time tomorrow” he’d be a millionaire.
Just hours later, he saw his EuroMillions Lucky Dip make him the fourth biggest lottery winner in the country.
Neil used his winnings to live a cushty life, buying a Grade II-listed mansion with its own lake and 400 acres of land.
A UK ticket holder became one of the biggest ever UK lottery winners when they bagged the jackpot, but decided to remain anonymous.
Dave and Angela Dawes: £101,203,600.70
Dave Dawes, a shift supervisor for Premier Foods, and Angela Dawes, a volunteer for the British Heart Foundation, hit the EuroMillions jackpot in October 2011.
It was only the third time the couple, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, had played the lottery.
Pictures By Humphrey Nemar)
They gave £1million each to around 20 close friends and relatives. In May 2017, Dave’s son Michael unsuccessfully pursued him for support.
They originally bought a luxury flat in West London, 10 minutes’ walk from Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground. They sold it in 2017 for £4.5million and moved on to a six-bedroom Grade Two listed manor house in Etchingham, East Sussex, once owned by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.
The couple also set up a charity, got married and splashed out on a Rolls-Royce, holidays and designer clothes.
In 2020, the pair revealed that they’d been subject to a terrifying ordeal in their home when robbers punched Dave and tied him up with cable ties.
They then made off with £20,000 in cash, jewellery and a Range Rover.
The ticket was drawn on June 12, 2015, but the winners didn’t want publicity.
One ticket bought in the UK scooped the whole jackpot on 30 June, 2017 but elected to remain anonymous.
The haul was won in May 2010 but the winner again kept their identity secret.
One lucky British ticket-holder picked up the £81million EuroMillions rollover in May 2013.
A UK ticket holder scooped the jackpot in October 2020 – which was the highest total of the year at the time – but decided to remain anonymous.
A giant £155.6million jackpot was shared between a UK ticket holder and a Spanish winner on 23 February 2018.
Andrew Clark: £76,369,806
Andrew Clark, of Boston, Lincolnshire, was revealed as the owner of Britain’s biggest ever unclaimed lottery ticket in December 2018.
The self-employed builder, who had a habit of stockpiling tickets in his van, only checked his winning ticket when his partner’s niece reminded him.
Stunned, he called his partner, Trisha Fairhurst and said: “Start looking for a mansion.”
Later, when the audio recording of Andrew calling to confirm his win was released, it was dubbed “the most British reaction ever.”
Andrew can be heard saying: “Hello mate, I think I’ve won a few quid, so I phoned.”
The operator replies, “OK, yeah, so, £76 million” before Andrew responds, “Yeah.”
Andrew and Trisha said they wanted to splash out on some new cars, but were thinking about how best to help out loved ones with the prize.
The winning ticket was drawn on May 2, 2014.
The winning ticket, bought by an anonymous UK resident, was purchased in March 2019.
The Davies family: £61,102,442
Sonia Davies was in Florida with partner Keith Reynolds recovering from an operation to remove a tumour from her parathyroid gland when she found out she had won in a family syndicate.
She had just had the all clear so asked her sales executive daughter Stephanie, at home in Wales, to buy a ticket – and she went for six lucky dips.
Stephanie’s boyfriend Steve and daughter Courtney were also part of the win.
Student Courtney vowed to buy a new electric toothbrush and replace her car with her £12million share.
A UK ticket holder came forward to claim the top prize in April 2021 but has decided to remain anonymous.
Ryan Hoyle: £58,366,487.50
Lucky Ryan scooped the enormous jackpot in April 2020, in the height of the first coronavirus lockdown. The joiner from Rochdale found out about his big win when he checked his emails at 6am.
At first, Ryan thought he’d picked up £2.30 but after reading through the whole email, he realised he’d bagged the jaw-dropping total.
He said: “I couldn’t make sense of it and really needed to talk to someone so I called Mum and Dad. It was 6am so they assumed that I had locked myself out of the flat somehow as it has happened before!”
Ryan said he planned to buy a new car to drive his 11-year-old daughter around in and also planned to move out of his one-bedroom flat into something bigger.
Fred and Lesley Higgins: £57,975,367
Fred Higgins, 67, and his wife Lesley, 57, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, scooped a £57,975,367 jackpot in July 2018.
But the couple nearly lost their entire prize after the ticket was torn up and thrown in the bin by a shop worker.
Mr Higgins said: “I handed the ticket over and the young man put it through the machine, telling me it wasn’t a winner.
“He ripped the ticket in two and threw it into the bin, as they would with all non-winning tickets.”
Luckily, an alarm sounded on the lottery checking machine, alerting the shop worker to the valid ticket.
After a two-week validation process, which involved Camelot security checking the store’s CCTV footage, the incredible win was paid out.
Since recovering from the drama of collecting their winnings, the pair have splashed out on a stunning £8 million estate in Perthshire, Scotland.
Nigel Page: £56,008,113
Self-confessed ‘white van man’ Nigel Page, 43, scooped £56million in February 2010.
The skydiving enthusiast, who lived in a three-bedroom semi near Cirencester, Wiltshire, married his girlfriend Justine, 42, and moved into a five-bedroom eco-mansion in the Cotswolds.
He gave their old home in Cirencester to their cleaner.
In 2016, they spent £6million buying a Grade II-listed eight-bedroom Cotswolds mansion to renovate.
It was reported Nigel paid ex-wife Wendy, 43, £2million after she made a legal claim for £8million. The pair had separated 10 years before his bumper win.
Richard and Angela Maxwell: £53,193,914
Richard and Angela Maxwell, from Boston, Lincolnshire, became multi-millionaires in 2015 – but it took Richard four hours to share the news with Angela because she wasn’t answering her phone.
When he finally got through to her, she then thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
Angela vowed to continue helping in the kitchen at her local community centre following the pair’s success.
The third jackpot won in the UK in 2016 was a biggie – although things would get even bigger with the Davies family syndicate a couple of months later. The April winner, who picked up the whole jackpot, elected to keep their win private.
This was the fourth EuroMillions jackpot won in the UK in 2017, but the owner of the sole winning ticket for the July draw decided not to reveal their identity.
One British ticket scooped the massive prize in February 2012 but decided not to go public.
Les and Sam Scadding: £45,570,835
Unemployed mechanic Les Scadding and his wife Samantha Peachey-Scadding from Caerleon, South Wales, bought one of two winning tickets which shared a £90million jackpot in November 2009.
Grandfather Les was £68 overdrawn on his bank account on the day he bought his lucky ticket and had also beaten testicular cancer.
The other £45 million-winning EuroMillions ticket was bought by a syndicate of seven office workers based in Merseyside.
The winners – dubbed the Magnificent Seven – were employed by Hewlett Packard to carry out IT work at a BT office in Liverpool.
John Walsh, James Bennett, Sean Connor, Alex Parry, Emma Cartwright, Ceri Scullion, and Donna Rhodes, each banked £6.5 million.
Cassey Carrington: £45,160,170
Cassey Carrington from Stapleford in Nottingham, banked the staggering total after matching all five numbers and two Lucky Stars in a EuroMillions draw in February 2012.
The Iceland store supervisor married her painter fiancé Matt Topham following the Lucky Dip win.
They became the second couple from the county to bank the jackpot in less than a month.
On Christmas Day 2019, Matt Topham was involved in a car crash with Rodney and Mary Jane Regler. Mary Jane was left with fatal chest injuries, while Rodney, who was driving, had a fractured ankle.
Matt later admitted causing the crash but denied dangerous driving. In March of this year, he was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving at Lincoln Crown Court.
He was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, for the lesser charge of careless driving.