Callie Rogers won the lottery at 16. Picture: Instagram
Callie Rogers won the lottery at 16. Picture: Instagram

Teen’s $3.3m lotto win ‘too much’ money

Callie Rogers was a "carefree" 16-year-old making $6 an hour as a shop assistant when a lottery win made her an instant millionaire.

But while most of us dream about hitting the jackpot, the prize soon changed the teen's life - for the worse.

When Ms Rogers won the Camelot draw in November 2003, she became the UK's youngest lottery winner, instantly making headlines.

However, she said that attention made her a target for "fake friends" and jealous strangers.

"You are only a 16, with all that responsibility. At that age, you can get the best advice ever. But you are not in a position to listen. I was too young," she told UK tabloid The Mirror.

"Overnight, I went from carefree child to adult. All these years on, it still gets dragged up.

"I suffer from such bad anxiety when I am going to meet new people. It preys on my mind, what a new partner's family will think of me or even new friends. I still get abuse just because of who I am."

Now 32, Ms Rogers said she had been irresponsible with her windfall because of her youth, splurging on holidays, luxuries and gifts for others.

"I would give money to distant relatives and friends of friends. I loaned £20,000 ($A35,457) here, £13,000 ($A23,047) there. I would never get it back," she told The Mirror.

"People asked for money for new cars and I would help out. I was a soft touch. Now I realise what they were like.

"I was exploited because of my age. I had a lot of fake relationships."

She told The Mirror her life spiralled out of control when she was 21 when her relationship hit a rough patch and she attempted to take her own life, followed by the removal of her children from her care.

These days, Ms Rogers' cash is gone and she is working as a carer, earning £12,000 ($A21,000) a year - but she claims to be happier now than when she was flush with cash.

She is now pushing for the Government to increase the legal gambling age to 18 to spare other youngsters from a similar ordeal.

Ms Rogers has joined a push to increase the lottery age limit. Picture: AP Photo/PA, Phil Noble
Ms Rogers has joined a push to increase the lottery age limit. Picture: AP Photo/PA, Phil Noble

She has thrown her support behind a government push to raise the National Lottery age limit from 16 to 18 for scratchies and online win games, which Culture Minister Mims Davies believes could help vulnerable young people, The Sun reports.

Ms Rogers is not the only teenage young lottery winner to speak out about the dark side of a jackpot win.

In 2013, 17-year-old Jane Park from Edinburgh, Scotland, also pocketed £1m ($A1.8 million) in the EuroMillions jackpot.

Since then, she's never strayed far from the spotlight, amassing tens of thousands of social media followers and splashing her cash on luxury holidays, cars, property and $84,000 on plastic surgery, including a Brazilian butt lift that left her fighting for her life with sepsis.

In 2017, Ms Park famously complained her lotto win had "ruined my life", announcing she was considering taking legal action against the UK's National Lottery for negligence.

Fellow teen lotto winner Jane Park also claims she was too young to handle the pressure of a jackpot windfall. Picture: Twitter
Fellow teen lotto winner Jane Park also claims she was too young to handle the pressure of a jackpot windfall. Picture: Twitter

"I think 18 should be the minimum age for winning the lottery, at the least. The current age of 16 is far too young," she told Sunday People at the time.

She said her life was easier before hitting the jackpot when she earned just $A14 an hour as an administration assistant and shared a two-bedroom council flat with her mother.

And earlier this year, the 23-year-old told her social media followers she was now so "bored" with her flashy lifestyle she was considering getting a job, as she was sick of "doing nothing all day".

Continue the conversation @carey_alexis | alexis.carey@news.com.au