The ecstatic winners only placed six Lucky Dip bets at the last moment after mum Sonia Davies and her partner Keith Reynolds phoned daughter Stephanie Davies from Florida, insisting they should aim for the bumper jackpot. Sonia had just received the all-clear from surgery on a tumour so believed they were on a lucky roll.
The other members of the family-of-five syndicate were Stephanie's boyfriend Steve Powell and her sister Courtney. News crews from all over the UK descended on Celtic Manor on Wednesday to meet the jubilant winners and hear their fantastic story.
Stephanie said: "We checked the ticket about 10 times over. Then we locked all the windows and doors and hushed our voices in case anyone heard. We even took a selfie with the ticket in case it disappeared!”
Meanwhile in Florida, Sonia was and Keith were at the airport awaiting their delayed flight home. Sonia said: “All I could hear was crying on the phone - I thought Steph had lost her dog! Then Steve came on and shouted that we had won £61m.”
It was a rollercoaster week for the family after Sonia underwent her successful surgery in Florida.
“I had my operation on Wednesday and until then we didn’t know how serious it was," she added. "They told me that if it hadn’t been removed it would have been fatal – and at the very least I would have lost my voice within a year.
“They managed to give me the all-clear straight after the operation, so as you can imagine we were on cloud nine. Then Keith learned about the EuroMillions rollover when he was scanning his emails. He was convinced that we were the luckiest people on the planet and definitely on a winning streak after the success of my op ... something told us we needed to get a ticket.”
After champagne celebrations at the five-star resort, the winners are hoping to share their winnings of more than £12m each with further family and friends, and Sonia and Keith would also like a new carport for their home. Courtney, a 19-year-old student in Southampton, plans to finish her degree in psychology after lifting the burden of her student debt and buying a new car. Stephanie and Steve want to decorate the home they bought together at Christmas, and splash out on a holiday in the Caribbean.