Winners of £61m EuroMillions jackpot initially thought they’d won £2.60

A couple who have claimed a £61 million jackpot prize on the EuroMillions initially thought they had won £2.60.

Richard and Debbie Nuttall, both 54, from Colne in Lancashire, were in Fuerteventura celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in January when an email from the National Lottery told them they had exciting news.

He said: “So I went through to Debs and I said we’ve won £2.60 on the lottery and she was like: ‘Woohoo, we’ll go and have a bacon butty or something with that.’”

But he later realised the £2.60 was from a win in November and when he logged in again later that day, after another email, he saw a figure of £61,708,231.

EuroMillions jackpot winners
Richard and Debbie Nuttall said they were convinced the good news was a scam at first (Allwyn/Anthony Devlin/PA)

“I’m thinking, ‘this is a scam, someone’s trying to extract information out of me inch by inch,’” he said.

It was only after driving around the island to get a signal that Mr Nuttall managed to get through to an operator who confirmed the prize.

He said: “Obviously we were stunned but also very excited at the time, it was almost like Del Boy and Rodney when they come out of Sotheby’s and they start cheering and punching the air, the car was rocking.

“Even so at the back of your mind you’re still thinking: is this all part of some sophisticated scam?”

At a press conference to announce their win in Clitheroe, Lancashire, on Wednesday, Mr Nuttall was asked by reporters whether it still felt like a scam.

He said: “Debbie likes sci-fi and she says sometimes I think I’m in the Matrix and I’m just sat in a pod and it’s all just happening outside the pod. So maybe you’re all in the pod with us!”

The couple, who have three daughters and two granddaughters, could not claim the prize until they were back in the UK, so booked a flight home for the next day.

Their first purchases since the win have been new clubs for keen golfer Mr Nuttall, a £300 hairdryer and 1,200 thread-count cotton luxury bedding.

Mrs Nuttall said: “I don’t think it has sunk in properly yet. Obviously, it’s amazing, we’re very happy but we are still in that dazed period.”

While her husband is planning trips to his favourite golf courses and to watch Formula One, Mrs Nuttall said she was hoping to sit by a swimming pool with a cocktail and a book.

She has handed in her notice at her civil engineering job and Mr Nuttall has told clients he will be stopping work at the end of the tax year.

They will also support the charity BK’s Heroes which was set up in memory of Mrs Nuttall’s cousin Ben King, who died aged 27, which aims to raise awareness and funding for research into prevention and treatment of brain cancer and kidney disease.

Their win almost did not happen as they spent 16 years playing the Lotto with specific numbers seen by Mrs Nuttall in a dream, before deciding to play lucky dip on the EuroMillions.

Mr Nuttall said: “Somebody did ask me how much I’d put on the lottery over the years and I said probably about £62 million!”

The prize, a share of the £123,416,462 jackpot on January 30, puts them in the 29th spot on the National Lottery rich list and makes them the 39th UK winners to bank £50 million or more on EuroMillions.

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