Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in Ayrshire, Scotland won £161,653,000 on the Friday Euromillions on the 15th July, 2011 making them the largest ever British lottery winners.
The huge sum and also confirmed them as the 430th richest individuals on the Sunday Times Rich List at the time.
The jackpot win was also the largest recorded winning amount in Euromillions history defeating the previous highest record jackpot of £128.3 million that was won in Italy back in 2009. The closest big win in the UK remains £101 million, by Dave and Angela Dawes in 2011.
Colin was working as a TV cameraman and Chris was working as a psychiatric nurse when the jackpot win was confirmed. The couple had been married for over 30 years and were the parents of two children called Jamie and Carly. Jamie was working as a call centre worker at the time of the win and Carly was a photography student.
The lucky couple revelled in the experience of the media buzz surrounding the win with both making jokes. Colin first joked that they would be trying for a new baby now they had money before Chris denied this was true and that it was “too late for that”. Colin then also said he had no plans to trade in his Suzuki Ignis where as Chris stated she would be swapping cars. It has been reported that the couple have since bought a range of cars for their friends after the win worth an estimated £160,000.
Chris recollected the moment they found out they had won. She said “It was midnight, but we were so buzzed and full of adrenalin, we could not sleep. We could not do anything except sit and talk about it, it was an absolutely amazing feeling. It got to 4am, and we opened a bottle of wine – and I don’t drink!
Colin stated he had plans to purchase a box at Barcelona and also wanted to do some travelling to visit the Great Wall of China, Thailand and Ayers Rock in Australia. Chris said she intended on buying a second and third home with the new found wealth. Since the win it has been confirmed that the couple have moved into the £850,000 Knock House. The property comes with a swimming pool, cinema and stables and overlooks the Firth of Clyde.
FAST CARS AND POLITICS
The couple have been keen to use their lottery win to help others in their local community. In addition to buying the cars for their close friends, the couple also recently confirmed they were sponsoring 15 year old Scottish racing driver Gregor Ramsey, who is being tutored by Ferrari, in his forthcoming F3 campaign.
The Weirs have also expressed their interest in politics and were confirmed as donating £1 million to the Scottish National Party at the end of last year. The donation was the largest single amount that the party had ever received. The couple also announced plans to set up a foundation to help out charities and worthy causes.
When questioned about whether they regretted the decision to go public about winning the £161.7 million Euromillions jackpot the couple denied that they had made the wrong decision.
Chris stated “You can’t hide it. If you were going to be anonymous you are not telling friends and family — I don’t think anyone would want to make their life like that. You would be spinning stories for the rest of your lives.”
Their winning numbers were 17, 19, 38, 42, 45 and the lucky stars numbers of 9 and 10.