- Kuwait Times Extra
A British couple who scooped a record 190 million euros in the EuroMillions lottery said yesterday that they would carry on running their music shop and try to give their children a normal upbringing. Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from Suffolk in eastern England, were the sole winners of the jackpot worth £149 million ($235 million) in Friday’s draw.
The euro conversion rate means that while the prize is a record in euros, it is worth slightly less in pounds than the £161 million won by a Scottish couple in the EuroMillions in July last year. Revealing their identities at a press conference yesterday, the Bayfords said they intended to lavish some of their winnings on friends and family who had supported them in the early years of their marriage. Gillian Bayford, a 40-year-old health care assistant at a hospital, said she had worried last week that they might run out of money before her next pay cheque.
“We bought (the ticket) because we needed money,” she said. “Everybody struggles in this recession and this month has been an extremely tight month.” She added: “We were struggling.” Gillian said she now planned to buy an Audi Q7 sportscar-while her stocky husband joked that he might buy a Mini. He added that he would actually be buying “a chunky car, as I’m a bit of a chunky guy.” Their two young children want to visit Disney World, but the couple stressed that they wanted to continue to live the lives of “a normal family”.
“We’re quite grounded,” said Gillian, adding that they will think carefully before moving out of their modest house. Adrian Bayford, 41, said he would use some of the money to build up his music shop business-and insisted he would be back behind the counter before long. “The money’s going to help a hell of a lot,” he said. His business partner had been “gobsmacked” to hear the news, he added. Describing the moment they realised they had the lucky numbers, Gillian recalled: “It was just unreal for me. I looked at him and he was a bit pale. And I thought, maybe he is telling the truth.”
She added: “We just looked at each other and giggled. It was a nice feeling.” She said the prospect of banking £148,656,000 was “slightly frightening, but exciting”. “It’s something to share with other people-friends and family, people who’ve supported us.” She added: “I want to make people smile. There are too many people around with sad faces.”
The couple is considering giving some of the winnings to a children’s charity, Gillian added. She has always fancied skydiving and her husband wants to visit the Canadian Rockies by train, but the couple said they are not planning too many extravagant treats for themselves. “I’m Scottish. We’re known for being tight,” Gillian laughed. “I’ll still be hitting the sales.” The couple had a one in 116,531,800 chance of holding all seven lucky numbers. Across Europe, 14 tickets selected six correct numbers, and will win more than 2,641,000 euros each.
The EuroMillions lottery, launched in 2004, is now played by nine countries across Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. Five of the top 10 jackpots in the history of EuroMillions have been British. More British players tend to take part when the jackpot is particularly large. – AFP
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