Married Couple Hit Record UK Lottery £185m Jackpot

A file photo of some British pound note.


A married couple from western England was revealed Thursday as Britain’s biggest-ever lottery winners after scooping a jackpot of nearly £185 million ($230 million, 218 million euros) in the EuroMillions draw. 

Joe and Jess Thwaite, from Gloucester, called the unprecedented win “huge for us” as they claimed the record-breaking sum of £184,262,899 with a ticket of randomly selected numbers earlier this month.

“It was amazing but also surreal,” said Joe, 49, who works at a communications company, at a press conference with his wife as they recounted the momentous moment they discovered online their May 10 win.

“I looked at the amount. I put the phone down and I picked the phone up again and I looked at the amount again!”

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The early riser somehow contained his excitement enough to let his wife keep sleeping until her alarm sounded — and then relayed the news.

“He was like, ‘I’ve got a secret to tell you’,” recalled Jess, 44. “I was like ‘don’t be stupid!,” she said, adding they initially thought it was a joke and “obviously wrong”.

The couple, like many other Britons, have been struggling through the country’s growing cost-of-living crisis and plan to share their newly-amassed fortune with friends and family.

“This is an amazing thing that’s happened to us, and this means it’s an amazing thing that’s happened to our family and we want to share that with them,” said Jess, who runs a hair salon with her mother and sister.

“Even though it’s wonderful and exciting, it’s also a massive relief for everybody that’s been struggling with all their bills.

“We’re like every normal family… so it’s just a huge relief.”

‘Family Holiday’ 

Joe said the blockbuster win meant they had been enjoying simple pleasures like hot water without worrying about the costs, amid the spiralling energy prices hitting Britain.

“I did put the immersion heater on the other day and heated up the hot water and just thought that’s fine, whereas in the past these are the sorts of things you just didn’t do,” he added.

Beyond that, the immediate Thwaite family — which comprises two primary school-aged children and a host of pets including horses, ponies, dogs, and even geckos — are planning a rare family holiday and likely a new car purchase.

“We never go on holiday,” said Jess. “So our kids would just die to go to the sun and do that kind of thing,” she added, noting one favoured Hawaii while the other wanted to go to a Texas horse ranch.

The Thwaite’s jackpot sets a new record in Britain and is the second largest in the history of EuroMillions, which is played in the territories of nine European countries.

Last October saw an unprecedented 220-million-euro jackpot claimed by an undisclosed woman — who had never previously played the game — on the Pacific island of Tahiti, which is part of French Polynesia.


EFCC Recovers Over N4.16bn Unpaid Lottery Revenue

A file photo of the EFCC logo.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has recovered over N4.16 billion from lottery companies, being revenue owed to the government, which they refused to remit.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Acting EFCC Chairman, Mohammed Umar Abbah, disclosed this while receiving a delegation from the Ministerial Task Force for recovery of unpaid revenues from lottery businesses, led by its chairman, Willaims Alo.

“We mapped out strategies which resulted in the recovery of over N1.16 billion from lottery companies, operating in Abuja with over N3 billion from their counterparts, operating in Lagos State,” he said.

He also assured the task force of the agency’s unwavering support, stating: “We are willing and ready to partner with you to ensure those lottery companies that have continuously shortchanged the government are made to cough out all the revenues they had deprived the government over the years.”

On his part, Alo commended the anti-graft agency for its effort in recovering the unremitted lottery funds.

He said: “Let me acknowledge the efforts of this Commission for the assistance it has rendered not only to the Federal Government of Nigeria but specifically to the lottery industry in Nigeria.

“It is in our record that the EFCC has assisted the lottery business in no small way, because a lot of recoveries have been made for us by the EFCC and the money recovered has always been handed over to the lottery trust fund.”

He however solicited for more support and collaboration in the fund recovery drive of the task force.

FCCPC Moves To Join Suit Filed By Western Lotto Against Lottery Regulator, 23 Others



The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), (formerly called Consumer Protection Council) is seeking to be joined in a suit that touches on lottery operations in the country.

The Chief Executive of the Commission, Babatunde Irukera, told Presiding Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court Lagos today that it had filed an application to join the suit filed by Western Lotto Limited against National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Registrar of Trademarks, Premier Lotto Ltd & 22 other rival lotto firms.

Mr Irukera said the FCCPC has concerns about certain clauses in the mutual agreement executed between the Plaintiff, Western Lotto Ltd and the 1st Defendant, National Lottery Regulatory Commission.

Western Lotto on its part is seeking to discontinue the suit against the third defendant, Premier Lotto Ltd & 22 other rival lotto firms.

In the suit, Western Lotto Limited, which belongs to businessman and politician Buruji Kashamu, is alleging infringement on its license on “Ghana games” by the rival lotto firms, one of which is Premier Lotto Limited, popularly known as Baba Ijebu Gaming Limited, belonging to Chief Keshington Adebutu.

But following the draft of Terms of Agreement between Western Lotto Ltd and the lottery regulators, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Registrar of Trademarks who are listed as the first and second defendant in the suit, the plaintiff through its lawyer Ajibola Oluyede sought to discontinue the proceedings against the 22 rival Lotto firms.

The rival Lotto firms who are listed as the 3rd to the 25th defendants have, however, resisted the move to discontinue the proceedings and are instead, asking the court to hear and consider first, some pending applications which they have filed in respect of the suit.

Justice Aneke however, adjourned the case till Thursday, July 23 when he will rule on which of the pending applications the court will hear first.

Globacom Centenary Lottery Surprises Customers

nigeria_centenaryA multi- National Telecommunication Company in Nigeria, Globacom, has launched the second phase of its centenary lottery with a star prize of 100 million Naira for a lucky winner. 

The lottery, which was endorsed by the office of the Secretary-General of the Federation, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission and other technical partners, was launched in Abuja on Tuesday.

The lottery comes in form of an SMS trivia game based on questions and answers on simple knowledge of the on-going World Cup, and will last until September 3, 2014.

Besides the star prize, the 11 weeks lottery also has up for grabs 35 Hyundai jeeps to be won every two weeks, a sponsored trip to Brazil and weekly cash prizes ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 Naira.

The Marketing Head of SET Plc, Leticia Otomewo, said, “the more questions you answer, the more your chances of winning and you will know you have won only when Globacom gives you a voice call to announce your winning”. This, they said, was their way of celebrating Nigeria at 100 years.

Explaining how an individual could participate in the lottery, the Head of Value Added Services, said “simply text CWC to the short code 35777.

“Every question you answer attracts a charge of 100 Naira and the amount further qualifies the individual for the lottery.”

Globacom is one of the leading mobile service providers in Nigeria.

£1 million lottery scam: Man jailed for 30 months

Farrakh Nizzar a shop worker has been jailed for 2 years and 6 months for trying to defraud a couple of their £1 million lottery ticket.

When the pensioner couple asked Farrakh Nizzar who is 30 years old and an illegal over-stayer in the United Kingdom the state of their ticket and their ticket which is the EuroMillions ticket was not a winning ticket and asked if they wanted the ticket back.

The Holts’ told Nizzar afterwards to thrash the ticket since its worthless but after the couples left, Nizzar took the ticket scanned it at a cousin’s Best One shop in Oldham Greater Manchester where he also works and he was told by the terminal to tell the holders of the ticket to contact Camelot.

Rather than do just that, Nizzar who is now facing deportation back to his home country of Pakistan kept the ticket and later called the lottery company himself in an attempt to keep the prize. But the firm became suspicious when he was unable to answer questions about the winning ticket.

Nizzar came to the UK in 2007 on a student visa and completed a postgraduate diploma in business studies. But his student visa ran out, he was refused leave to remain in the UK and exhausted all his rights to appeal.

Camelot began investigation with the aid of a CCTV, the Tesco Clubcard belonging to Mr.Holt to trace the original owners of the ticket and the Holts’ were united with their £1 million prize.

Nizzar bowed his head and made no reaction as he was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester after he pleaded guilty last month to one charge of fraud by false representation which was committed on May 31 this year and has since written a letter of apology to Mr and Mrs Holt.