Winning the lottery is a dream most likely shared by anyone who isn’t already a multimillionaire, and perhaps some who are. In fact, according to PR Newswire, a recent survey found that nearly 60 percent of people would rather win the lottery than find “true love” in their lives — and nearly one of every 10 people in the survey would trade their spouse for a lottery jackpot of at least $100 million.
But those people might want to talk to Callie Rogers of Cumbria, England, who in 2003 became the United Kingdom’s youngest-ever national lottery winner, taking home a jackpot of £1.87 million at the age of just 16, as Britain’s Sun tabloid recounts. Converted into United States cash in 2003, that would be about $3 million — and adjusting for inflation, Rogers won the equivalent of more than $4 million in cold, hard cash.
Rogers appeared on the United Kingdom’s ITV This Morning show on Tuesday to call for the minimum lottery-playing age to be raised, describing how she blew her entire, sudden fortune — and sunk into a period of depression that almost resulted in her ending her own life, according to an account by The Mirror newspaper.
“At 16 you’re just a child, then suddenly overnight you’ve got to become an adult,” the now 31-year-old mom of three told the interviewers. “You don’t have any understanding of money and the concept of what it brings. There were people who came along who I did not know before and have not been in my life since. At the time, you just want everybody to like you. The money did bring problems with my family, and friends as well. It just became too much to cope with.”
Watch Callie Rogers’ This Morning interview in the video below.
According to an accounting by Britain’s Daily Mail, soon after collecting her jackpot winnings, Rogers spent £18,000 — equal to nearly $29,000 in 2003 — on three separate plastic surgeries on her breasts, after spending 10 times that amount to purchase a new house.
She estimated that she also blew a staggering £250,000 — $400,000 — on cocaine, and £300,000 ($480,000) on fancy new clothes. She also gave away half-a-million pounds, or about $800,000, in gifts to “friends,” many of whom suddenly appeared in her life after she won the lottery jackpot.
Rogers, who earned a mere £3.60 (about $5.75) per hour as a checkout clerk and was living with foster parents when she won the lottery, told the TV program that she is happier now that the lottery winnings are gone, but she still experiences “trust issues” with people after feeling that others took advantage of her for her money.
But Rogers’ carelessness with her lottery money cannot compare to the story, told in 2014 by the Inquisitr, of Jack Whittaker of West Virginia who was already worth $17 million from a successful construction business when he won a $314.9 million jackpot in the U.S. national Powerball lottery in 2002 — at the time the largest lottery jackpot in American history.
After deductions Whittaker pocketed more than $133 million, but within four years he had gone bust, buying a series of lavish gifts for friends and even strangers, as well as drinking, gambling, and maintaining bad habit of carrying briefcases of cash into strip clubs, where he lost hundreds of thousands to theft, according to Time.