Given that the legal age to buy a lottery ticket is just 16 in the UK, the rise in teenage millionaires was always going to be a biproduct of the National Lottery. People would often see this as a way to get rich at an age where earning even the average wage is merely a pipedream for most teenagers.
Many teenagers get branded with the reputation of being irresponsible with money. In fact, most reading this would probably agree that in their early years there were plenty of things that they wasted money on, regardless of whether you were earning minimum wage or were filthy rich.
When teenagers come into huge sums of money, their lack of financial experience puts them in a more vulnerable position than that of an adult, even if they have their heads screwed on.
As you would expect, some have coped better than others. Throughout this article we take a look at some of the teenage millionaires from the UK and how their wins have affected their lives.
Jane Park – £1 million aged 17
Jane Park is one of the highest profile teenage lottery winners, but for reasons that you might not imagine. Aged just 17 she won £1 million from her first ever lottery ticket.
Park used to work as an admin assistant, earning a modest £8 per hour and living at home with her mum, Linda. She was a typical 17-year-old with a good social life, large set of friends around her, and a steady job.
But the money proved to be too much for Park to cope with. As a result, at age 21 she sued Camelot for ruining her teenage years, and is trying to get the minimum age to buy a lottery ticket lifted to 18.
Park had quit her job as an admin assistant before going on to blow a lot her money on materialistic items, such as handbags, jewellery, holidays and cars. She also went on to spend a lot of the money on cosmetic surgery, going under the knife several times including a boob job and bum lift. The surgery has led to many complications for Park, which likely added to the stress that she’s been going through since.
There’s no sign that the money is all gone, but the press that she now gets is not often good. She’s made several appearances on programs like Loose Women, highlighting her cause to get the minimum age for lottery tickets raised, but the backlash generally accuses her of simply trying to stay relevant as she’s blown most of her money. We can confirm nor deny these allegations.
Park had also revealed that she would sell topless photos of herself to “rich men” for £50. However, Park claimed that any money she made she gave to charity working a little like “Robin Hood”.
Callie Rogers – £1.9 million aged 16
Callie Rogers sprang to lottery stardom in 2003 when she became the youngest lottery winner in the UK. Rogers had gone through a rough upbringing and at the time of her win was working as a cashier in her local Co-op and was also in foster care.
Unfortunately for Callie, the route that she chose to take after winning the money was all too familiar. She blew the vast majority of it on a lavish lifestyle, such as buying cars, clothes and unfortunately, also developing a cocaine addiction. In fact, it was reported that she spent over £250,000 on drugs and partying.
Whilst the majority of her money has now gone, she was able to buy herself and her mother their own home. She now claims to have just £2,000 left in the bank, and after dealing with serious bouts of depression, claims that she’s never been happier now the money is gone.
Rogers is another who is now advocating for the minimum age for the National Lottery to be raised to prevent other young people like her going down the same route.
Ianthe Fullagar – £7 million aged 18
In 2008 Ianthe Fullagar was able to strike it lucky by landing a £7 million win on the Euro Millions. Like so many winners, it was just her 2nd time playing the lottery and she even spent time picking out a set of numbers that were meaningful to her.
At the time of her win, Ianthe was on a gap year and had planned to go on and study law at university. What’s impressive about this young lady is that, even though she had the money to retire if she really wanted to, she remained grounded and went on to university to finish her degree.
Since then she has been able to keep out of the spotlight, although she has been mentioned several times in the Sunday Times Rich List for young people. In 2010 she was in 27th position, two years later she had dropped to 38th.
It’s clear that Fullagar has taken a very different route to a lot of the teenage lottery winners on this list, and as long as she remains grounded she will be set up for life.
Michael Carrol – £9 million aged 19
Michael Carrol’s lottery win of £9 million in 2002 remains the biggest by any teenager. It also remains one of the highest profile wins of all time, regardless of age.
Carrol is famed for having lost all of his money within just 5 years, and declared himself broke in 2007. He’s been on several chat shows since, often boasting about the fact that he had and lost all the money, but it’s the way in which he lost it that is most frustrating.
He basically blew the lot on prostitutes, drugs, and alcohol, including buying dozens of cars and houses. Carrol has said that apart from a few investments that he made, he has zero capital left, but even though he’s lost he all he says that he “wouldn’t change a thing” and “would do it all again” if he won tomorrow.
Carroll is often dubbed as the “King of Chavs” and this is because of several high-profile run-ins with the law. He’s had several ASBO’s and has been arrested multiple times for drunken loutish behaviour as well.
Whilst the money on offer is often a ticket to a better life, it’s fair to say that Carrol is one example that no lottery winner should ever follow. Just think of all the good that could have come from his win, but instead it was squandered.