Fred and Lesley Higgins, of Laurencekirk, netted £57,975,367.70 for matching all five main numbers – 3, 8, 26, 33, 45, and Lucky Star numbers 7 and 10 – on the July 10 EuroMillions draw.
The pair, who have been married for 35 years, spoke to the media at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel on Thursday morning.
The win ranks at number 14 in the list of the biggest ever lottery prizes.
The retired Audi administrator said: “I handed the ticket over and the young man put it through the machine, telling me it wasn’t a winner.
“He ripped the ticket in two and threw it into the bin, as they would with all non-winning tickets.”
This lucky north-east couple won almost £58 million on the Euromillions – watch Live as they tell all
Posted by Evening Express on Thursday, 2 August 2018
However the mistake was soon realised when the machine made a noise – with the winning ticket quickly handed back.
Despite being ripped in two, the numbers were still visible.
Mrs Higgins, 57, said she had already had a glance at properties in Barbados and London to “put it all into perspective”. She has also left her job.
She said her boss was understanding, adding: “It’s all been positive. It’s overwhelming really to get the support that we’ve had from people we didn’t realise cared for us so much.
“I’m kind of glad we decided to go public because we couldn’t keep it private very long.”
The pair have already bought a new Audi A5.
The couple are considering travelling to India, China, Russia, Africa or Dubai.
Mr Higgins said he wants to visit “somewhere different”.
The National Lottery posted a video of the delighted pair to its Twitter account.
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) August 2, 2018
Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, had put an urgent call out for ticket holders across the UK to check their lotto slips as the winning ticket had gone unclaimed for over a week.