A BRITISH couple who scooped a record 190 million euros ($222 million) in the EuroMillions lottery said Tuesday 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 pounds in Friday’s draw.
The euro conversion rate means that while the prize is a record in euros, it is worth slightly less than the 161 million pounds won by a Scottish couple in the EuroMillions in July last year.
Revealing their identities at a press conference on Tuesday, 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, 40, said the couple had bought the lottery ticket because they feared they might run out of money before her next pay cheque from her job as a health care assistant at a hospital.
Herald Sun Digital Pass
“We bought (the ticket) because we needed money,” she said. “Everybody struggles in this recession and this month has been an extremely tight month.
“We were struggling,” she added.
Gillian said she planned to buy an Audi Q7 sportscar – while her stocky husband joked that he might buy a Mini, before admitting he would actually be purchasing “a chunky car, as I’m a bit of a chunky guy.”
Their two young children wanted to visit Disney World, but the Bayfords stressed that they wanted to continue living the life of “a normal family”.
“We’re quite grounded,” said Gillian, adding that they would 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 pounds 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’s too many people around with sad faces.”
The Bayfords were considering giving some of the winnings to a children’s charity, added Gillian, who works on a children’s ward.
She had always fancied skydiving and her husband wanted to visit the Canadian Rockies by train, but the couple said they were 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 winnings would allow her to quit her job at the hospital and spend some more time with her family, she said.
The owners of Sanjay’s Store, the shop which sold the lucky ticket to the Bayfords, said they thoroughly deserved the win.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple,” said Sanjay Patel.
The Bayfords had a one in 116,531,800 chance of holding all seven lucky numbers.
Across Europe, 14 tickets selected six correct numbers, and each will win more than 2,641,000 euros.
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.
Story from Herald Sun