Couple who scooped £3.6million EuroMillions prize reveal they have already splashed out on a house

Couple who scooped £3.6million EuroMillions prize reveal they have already splashed out on a house 2
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A couple from Cumbria has won a staggering £3.6million after missing out on the £191million EuroMillions Jackpot rollover by just one number. 

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The organisation revealed that there were five players across Europe who missed out by one lucky star, with three hailing from the UK, who received £3.6 million each. 

Helen, 58, and Lee Kuchczynski, 52, from Cumbria took champagne and an oversized cheque to the beach to celebrate their windfall. 

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Mrs Kuchczynski said: ‘Lady Luck more than smiled at us, she grinned and burst out laughing, so instead of the usual Chinese takeaway in front of the telly to celebrate my birthday, we bought a whopping detached house with all the mod cons – it even has electric gates!’

Helen, 58, and Lee Kuchczynski, 52, from Cumbria took champagne and an oversized cheque to the beach to celebrate their windfall

Helen, 58, and Lee Kuchczynski, 52, from Cumbria took champagne and an oversized cheque to the beach to celebrate their windfall

Mrs Kuchczynski said : 'Lady Luck more than smiled at us, she grinned and burst out laughing, so instead of the usual Chinese takeaway in front of the telly to celebrate my birthday, we bought a whopping detached house with all the mod cons – it even has electric gates!'

Mrs Kuchczynski said : ‘Lady Luck more than smiled at us, she grinned and burst out laughing, so instead of the usual Chinese takeaway in front of the telly to celebrate my birthday, we bought a whopping detached house with all the mod cons – it even has electric gates!’

The pair made an offer on a home on Helen’s 58th birthday, something meaningful to the couple who have so far been renting for their married life.  

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Helen, of Cumbria, added: ‘My first purchase as a millionaire was two bags of cat litter while Lee invested in a new back-scratcher, not sure if that is living the high life!’

Helen, a Financial Administrator, and HGV driver Lee’s winning journey started when Helen bought a Lucky Dip for the EuroMillions draw, she said: ‘I always play online, up until a few months ago it was just once a week but earlier this year I decided we really needed our luck to change so decided to ‘go for it’ and play more regularly. Not in a million years did I imagine our luck would change quite so dramatically but I’m very pleased it did!’

The pair made an offer on a home on Helen's 58th birthday, something meaningful to the couple who have so far been renting for their married life. Helen, of Cumbria, added: 'My first purchase as a millionaire was two bags of cat litter while Lee invested in a new back-scratcher, not sure if that is living the high life!'

The pair made an offer on a home on Helen’s 58th birthday, something meaningful to the couple who have so far been renting for their married life. Helen, of Cumbria, added: ‘My first purchase as a millionaire was two bags of cat litter while Lee invested in a new back-scratcher, not sure if that is living the high life!’

Helen, a Financial Administrator, and HGV driver Lee's winning journey started when Helen bought a Lucky Dip for the EuroMillions draw, she said: 'I always play online, up until a few months ago it was just once a week but earlier this year I decided we really needed our luck to change so decided to 'go for it' and play more regularly. Not in a million years did I imagine our luck would change quite so dramatically but I'm very pleased it did!'

Helen, a Financial Administrator, and HGV driver Lee’s winning journey started when Helen bought a Lucky Dip for the EuroMillions draw, she said: ‘I always play online, up until a few months ago it was just once a week but earlier this year I decided we really needed our luck to change so decided to ‘go for it’ and play more regularly. Not in a million years did I imagine our luck would change quite so dramatically but I’m very pleased it did!’

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Early the following morning when, enjoying a morning coffee before work, she spotted an email from The National Lottery alerting her to a win. 

She said: ‘I logged into my account on the laptop but was disappointed to see the balance was the same as usual, 40p. I logged in with my app instead to see if that showed anything different, still 40p, so I then clicked on the message and the 40p was very quickly forgotten, and replaced with £3,665,079.10!’

Not prepared to believe it was right, and that the family’s luck had changed quite so significantly, Helen took the phone through to show her daughter who was getting ready for her second day at a new job. 

She added: ‘As I handed the phone to our daughter I said, ”I’ve won something on the National Lottery but I think the decimal point is in the wrong place so it’s probably a scam.” She looked at it, refreshed the app, refreshed it again and finally, turned to me and calmly said, ”Mum, I really think it’s real, you need to ring the number.”

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Early the following morning when, enjoying a morning coffee before work, she spotted an email from The National Lottery alerting her to a win. She said: 'I logged into my account on the laptop but was disappointed to see the balance was the same as usual, 40p. I logged in with my app instead to see if that showed anything different, still 40p, so I then clicked on the message and the 40p was very quickly forgotten, and replaced with £3,665,079.10!'

Early the following morning when, enjoying a morning coffee before work, she spotted an email from The National Lottery alerting her to a win. She said: ‘I logged into my account on the laptop but was disappointed to see the balance was the same as usual, 40p. I logged in with my app instead to see if that showed anything different, still 40p, so I then clicked on the message and the 40p was very quickly forgotten, and replaced with £3,665,079.10!’

She laughs: 'As I handed the phone to our daughter I said, ''I've won something on the National Lottery but I think the decimal point is in the wrong place so it's probably a scam.'' She looked at it, refreshed the app, refreshed it again and finally, turned to me and calmly said, ''Mum, I really think it's real, you need to ring the number.''

She laughs: ‘As I handed the phone to our daughter I said, ”I’ve won something on the National Lottery but I think the decimal point is in the wrong place so it’s probably a scam.” She looked at it, refreshed the app, refreshed it again and finally, turned to me and calmly said, ”Mum, I really think it’s real, you need to ring the number.”

‘The only problem was the phonelines weren’t open at that time in the morning so we spent the next 20 minutes drinking endless cups of coffee and giggling at one another, and thinking what was Lee going to say!’

They didn’t have long to wait, and as soon as the win was confirmed, Helen rang Lee to share the good news, he said: ‘As an HGV driver I leave home on a Monday at 3.30am and get back Friday night so we’ve shared many of life’s ups and downs via phone but that’s one call I will always remember. 

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‘I’d just done a drop in Scunthorpe and was headed to North Wales for the next job when Helen told me she had good news but that I had to pull over as it might be shocking. Hearing, ‘we’ve won £3.6million on the National Lottery’ certainly was good news and certainly was shocking!’

Unlucky winner misses out on £1million prize after waiting too long to claim ticket 

The owner of a ticket that won £1million in the National Lottery has left it too late to claim the prize.

Lottery company Camelot announced yesterday – Thursday – that the prize was won on January 21 in the European Millionaire Maker competition – part of the EuroMillions draw.

That night 100 millionaires were made in total but one winner left the prize unclaimed for more than 180 days.

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They had until midnight on Wednesday to get their claim in but they didn’t. Camelot have not released details of which shop the ticket was bought at but have said it was purchased somewhere in the Hinckley and Bosworth area of Leicestershire

The money will now be used by Camelot to help fund National Lottery-supported projects across the country.

Camelot’s Andy Carter said, ‘Unfortunately, I can confirm that the ticket-holder did not come forward within the deadline to claim their prize and has now sadly missed out on this substantial amount of money. However, the money will now add to the more than £30 million raised each week for National Lottery-funded projects across the UK.

‘We’re in the middle of an amazing week for UK EuroMillions players. The UK’s biggest ever winner was created on Tuesday night when one lucky UK ticket-holder scooped the incredible £195 million jackpot and Friday night’s special EuroMillions draw will see a guaranteed 22 UK millionaires created on Millionaire Maker.

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‘Get your ticket early to be in with a chance of becoming an instant millionaire in time for the weekend!’

Anyone who has any queries or who believes they have the winning ticket for any of the National Lottery draws within the 180-day deadline should call the National Lottery Line on 0333 234 5050 or email [email protected]

Helen added: ‘Lee was medically discharged from the Army in 1995 and has been driving HGV’s since then. It’s tough work and long hours, and his health is not the best so when I shared our amazing news, his first words were ‘does that mean I can come home?’ shortly followed by ‘does it mean I can retire?’ I was delighted to be able to say a big yes to both! He did his final job that afternoon and handed in his truck keys for the last time.’

Looking ahead to the future, the couple who have been married for 24 years, are going to take some time to get used to their life-changing win. Helen has no plans to give up work, although thinks she may cut her hours a bit, while Lee will focus on getting the medical treatment he has needed for some time but previously couldn’t afford the time off work needed to recuperate. 

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Helen said: ‘Lots of people have asked us if we’re jetting off to exotic locations now but to be honest, once we’re in our new home we won’t need to go anywhere. We live in a beautiful part of the world and we’ve rushed about, trying to make ends meet for years so for now, we’ll stay put and enjoy the peace.’

Helen bought their winning EuroMillions Lucky Dip ticket online at national-lottery.co.uk. Her winning numbers were; 14, 18, 24, 25, 50 and Lucky Star 6. The other Lucky Star in the draw was 11.

Helen won in a draw where the EuroMillions jackpot had reached its cap and can’t get any bigger. When the jackpot is at its cap, money that would have gone into boosting the jackpot, is shared among players in the next prize tier instead. The estimated prize for matching five main numbers and one Lucky Star is usually £130,554.30. Helen’s prize last Tuesday was boosted to an astonishing £3.6M.

Mr and Mrs Kuchcynski’s win comes as another ticket-holder claimed the highest ever lottery win of £195million earlier this week. 

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The claim will undergo a series of checks to ensure its validity before the cash is paid.

Camelot said no information will be released on whether the claimant is an individual or a syndicate winner, or where the ticket was purchased, unless the ticket-holder decides to go public.

Andy Carter, Camelot’s senior winners’ adviser at the National Lottery, said: ‘This is absolutely incredible news.’

And that latest win broke the previously held record of £184million which was won on May 10 by Joe and Jess Thwaite, a couple from just outside Gloucester in their 40s.

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The pair won £184,262,899 with a Lucky Dip ticket.

The lucky pair, who have been married for 11 years, said they wanted to go public at hotel in Cheltenham this morning as they did not want to put the ‘burden’ of keeping the secret on others. 

Joe is a communications sales engineer, while Jess manages the business side of a hairdressing salon she runs with her mother Caroline and sister Rebecca in the affluent riverside town of Tewkesbury. 

They have eight-year-old twin daughters together, while Mr Thwaite has two grown up children currently at university from a previous marriage.

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The couple say they will share the win with extended family, with Mr Thwaite’s ex-wife saying she was ‘over the moon’ for them. 

Until recently the couple lived in smart four bedroom home where their priority was ‘DIY’ jobs around the property, but admitted their two children have ‘always talked about going to Hawaii’.

The former home, which they sold in November and are now living in a rented property, features a kitchen and breakfast room and lounge area fitted with a fireplace with oak beam mantle and a log burning stove that leads to the garden.

The winning EuroMillions numbers from Tuesday’s draw were 06, 23, 27, 40, 41 – plus the Lucky Star numbers 02 and 12.

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One ticket matched all seven numbers to win £195,707,000 – making them the biggest jackpot winner of all time.

Mr Carter said: ‘History was made with the biggest-ever National Lottery prize won by a UK player, and we’re ecstatic that we’ve received a claim.

‘Our focus is now on supporting the ticket-holder through the process and helping them start to enjoy their truly life-changing and record-breaking win.’

The holder will be able to buy 11 Boeing 747 jets, 23 Pisces-VI Submarines, Southampton Football Club or a townhouse in London’s Mayfair, complete with steam-room and plunge pool, cinema room and fully-equipped chef’s kitchen. It also means they are richer than Adele (worth £150 million).

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Only 15 UK players have ever won a jackpot of more than £100 million, with the previous record-holders Joe and Jess Thwaite from Gloucester, who won £184 million in May this year.

Death, divorce and giving away millions to charity: What happened to UK’s previous biggest lottery winners 

Joe and Jess Thwaite were confirmed as the winners of Britain’s biggest-ever lottery jackpot today – a huge £184m.

An anonymous ticket-holder held the previous record, taking £170million to the bank in October 2019 – one of only 14 players to have ever won a jackpot of more than £100million.

It is the second time lucky numbers came up in a EuroMillions jackpot for a UK winner this year, with £109million claimed a few days after a big win on February 4.

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UK lottery winners have the option of revealing their identity or staying annoymous.

From the UK National Lottery’s rich list, only three winners out of the ten chose have previously chosen to reveal themselves.

August 2012: Adrian and Gillian Bayford

Jackpot:  £148m

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Adrian Bayford and then wife Gillian, from Haverhill, Suffolk, pictured in August 2021 after it was announced they had won a jackpot of just over £148 million

Adrian Bayford and then wife Gillian, from Haverhill, Suffolk, pictured in August 2021 after it was announced they had won a jackpot of just over £148 million

In August 2012, Mr and Mrs Bayford won 190 million euro in a EuroMillions draw, which amounted to just over £148 million.

The couple used their winnings to buy a Grade-II listed estate in Cambridgeshire, complete with cinema and billiards room.

But within a year their marriage ended and Gillian moved back to Scotland with her half share of the winnings, where she launched a property company. 

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She has since remarried and had her third child with her second husband. 

Bayford remained in the Grade 2 listed property but after a series of relationships failed he put it up for sale and moved north to be closer to his children. 

January 2019: Patrick and Frances Connolly

Jackpot: £115m

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EuroMillions lottery winners, Frances and Patrick Connolly pose during a photocall at the Culloden Hotel near Belfast, on January 4, 2019

EuroMillions lottery winners, Frances and Patrick Connolly pose during a photocall at the Culloden Hotel near Belfast, on January 4, 2019

Former social worker and teacher Frances Connolly and her husband Patrick won almost £115 million on New Year’s Day in 2019.

She has already given away £60million to charity, as well as sharing her winnings with her friends and family, saying she is addicted to helping others.

Mrs Connolly, 55, from Northern Ireland, has already busted the charity budget she agreed for this year with husband Paddy – and has given away what they would have donated up to 2032. 

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She said helping others, whether with money or by volunteering her time, lifted people’s spirits during lockdown. 

The lottery winner has set up two charitable foundations, one named after her late mother Kathleen Graham in their native Northern Ireland, and the PFC Trust in Hartlepool, where the couple have lived for 30 years. 

The couple, who have three daughters – Catrina and twins Fiona and Natalie – are not extravagant with their wealth and Mrs Connolly has no desire to buy a yacht.

Their biggest expenditure after their win was a six-bedroom house in County Durham with seven acres of land, while Mr Connolly drives a second-hand Aston Martin, but Mrs Connolly scoffed at the idea of spending £13,000 on a console table. 

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When she saw a TV show where someone in Monaco spent £25,000 on a bottle of champagne, she immediately thought that could have put a young person on the property ladder.

July 2011: Colin and Chris Weir

Jackpot: £161.6m

Chris and Colin Weir, who were later divorced, celebrate after winning jackpot of £161.6million in July 2011 - the then record for a lottery haul

Chris and Colin Weir, who were later divorced, celebrate after winning jackpot of £161.6million in July 2011 – the then record for a lottery haul

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Colin and Chris Weir, from North Ayrshire, bagged a jackpot of £161.6million in July 2011 – the then record for a lottery haul.

Mr Weir sadly died aged 71 in 2019, eight years after he won the jackpot. 

Mr and Mrs Weir, 62, were granted a divorce during the summer after 38 years of marriage. It is understood that they had been living apart for nearly a year prior to his death.

They had two children together, Carly and Jamie. 

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Mr Weir was known for his support for the SNP and his love of Partick Thistle Football Club. 

He secured a majority stake in the Glasgow club in a seven-figure deal – and promised to give the 55 per cent shareholding to a fans group.

Mr Weir also helped the Jags to set up the Thistle Weir Youth Academy and a section of the club’s Firhill Stadium was named the Colin Weir Stand in his honour.

A former STV cameraman, he also made a donation to a community football club in his home town of Largs after setting up the Weir Charitable Trust in 2013 with his wife.

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They had both been forced to give up work early and nursed each other through years of ill health before they became the 22nd richest people in Scotland after their £161,653,000 win.

Overnight, they entered the Sunday Times Rich List above Beatle Ringo Starr and singer Sir Tom Jones but shunned the lavish lifestyle decided to go on holiday to Brighton following.

One of the first items Mr Weir purchased following the amazing jackpot win was a checked sports jacket similar to the one worn by Scotsport legend Arthur Montford.

The couple ended up buying a number of homes, including for their son Jamie, who was working in a call centre, and daughter Carly, who was studying photography. They also bought homes for their close friends. 

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Soon after the life-changing windfall, they moved out of their own three-bedroom home into Knock House – a mansion set in 23 acres of gardens and woods in the hills above Largs, complete with cinema, pool and stables. 

They bought it for £850,000 before selling it in 2016 to an overseas trust in a £1.4million deal.

They also went on to replaced their humble Suzuki for a £160,000 fleet of cars for the couple, their family and friends. 

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