“The last five, six years, we’ve struggled through. We’ve never had wealth like this.”
Those were the words of Steve Thomson, a builder from Selsey, whose family has just won the £105m EuroMillions jackpot.
Steve and his wife Lenka won £105,100,701.90 on what was the 25th birthday of The National Lottery’s first ever draw – becoming the ninth biggest winners ever in the country.
Despite the winning numbers being revealed last Tuesday (November 19), Steve said he only realised on Friday morning ‘when I had a spare minute before work’.
“When I looked at the numbers, I knew straight away,” he said.
“From that moment, I was a shaking, jibering wreck. I walked around the room two or three times, went out to the van, thought about knocking on the neighbours’ door. I went back to the house and then back out again. It was five minutes of just madness. That’s when I decided to tell Lenka who was at work.
“It was a strange feeling. I felt nervous, sick. I couldn’t tell my work partner. My parents said they would believe it when they see it. They saw it yesterday and they believe me now.
“The weekend has been a bit of a struggle, trying to get our head around what’s just happened. I have had ten hours of sleep in four days and not even a days worth of food. It’s been emotional and exciting.”
Steve and Lenka, who have three children, said the priority will be buying a bigger house.
“We have always muddled through and got on with it. There’s five of us living in a shoebox. It’s a three, bedroom terraced house. It will help us enjoy life.”
Lenka added: “It is very important as the boys share a room at the moment. There is a big age gap between them so that’s a dream to have their own space.
“The biggest thing is a new house, with bigger and more bedrooms.
“It is life-changing for the family.”
At a press conference this morning (Tuesday), the couple were told that they are now wealthier than football star Gareth Bale and actress Emma Watson.
Responding, Steve said: “When you put it into perspective like that, it’s even harder to get my head around.
“We told my middle son yesterday, who’s 10, and he was watching the news this morning. He asked how much is that and I said we’re richer than Cheryl Cole.
“He said who’s that so I went okay then, we’re richer than Harry Kane. He googled how rich is Harry Kane and said ‘he’s only worth £49m. I said we’re double that.
“My eldest (15) is a very sensible kid. He just asked to have his own room. I said ‘no problem, of course you can son’. My middle child asked for a Tesla. I said ‘not a chance’.
“Our daughter, who is 8, has her sights firmly set on a pink iPhone.
“When we get our heads around it, we can pick somewhere nice [to go on holiday], as a family.
“We have very sensible children and if they want something, they are going to have to earn it.
“Our future is sorted but I have no clue in what way yet.”
Read more about their reaction to the news here