Britain's youngest lottery winner says it was a 'curse'

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Callie Rogers at 16

Callie Rogers, Britain's youngest lottery winner, has given a magazine interview, saying that winning £1.9 million at the age of 16 was a 'curse', and didn't bring her anything like the happiness she has now - as a cash strapped mum.

And she's not the first to say that winning the lottery was a curse.


Happier now

Rogers is now 26 and living in Workington, Cumbria, with her partner Paul Penny and one-year-old son Blake. She gave the interview to Closer magazine, for its Real Life Special, 10 years after scooping £1.9 million on the National Lottery.

She got through the money quickly through recklessly spending on cosmetic surgery, holidays, partying, and drugs. She met Nicky Lawson, the father of her two eldest children, weeks after winning the money, and says that during their relationship she spent £250,000 on cocaine. However, rather than bringing her happiness, it left her so depressed that she tried to commit suicide three times

Now she has £2,000 in the bank, and hunts for bargains to make ends meet while she trains to be a nurse. She told the magazine she has never been so happy. She added: "I don't think 16-year-olds should be eligible. It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won't change, it does – and often not for the better. It nearly broke me, but thankfully, I'm now stronger."

Celebrities who fell foul of the tax system

Celebrities who fell foul of the tax system

The curse

And Rogers is not the first lottery winner to say the money made them unhappy. Last week we reported on Michael Carroll, who won £9 million on the lottery at the age of 19, frittered it away, split up with his wife, and went to jail twice.

Now he has found happiness living in Scotland near his daughter, and working in a biscuit factory. He told the papers: "I get £204 every week for packing and stacking shortbread and cookies and I love it. I treasure those wages more than any £9 million fortune. I've got all I need so this is a new start for me."

And you don't even have to fritter the cash away for the win to be more of a curse than a blessing. Mark Gardiner, a glazier from Hastings won £11.3 million in 1995. He told the papers 15 years later that it had 'ruined his life'. His mother sold a story to the press, and he faced a series of court cases from people trying to claim the money. He then split with his fourth wife over the pressure, and said the only good thing to come of it was getting back with his first wife years later.

The death of them...
For others, the curse of the lottery win has been far more dangerous - because it has been the death of them. Billie Bob Harrell Junior won $31 million in the Texas lottery in 1997. However, within two years he could no longer stand the pressure of lending to friends and arguing with his family, and tragically he shot himself.

Jeffrey Dampier, meanwhile, won $20 million on the Illinois lottery in 1996. He spent a huge amount on homes, cars and holidays for his friends and family. Shockingly, his reward, nine years later, was to be kidnapped by his sister-in-law and murdered.

And William Post narrowly missed the same fate. He won $16.2 million in 1988, and within two years he had been sued by his girlfriend for a share of the money, and saw his brother arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him for a share of the cash.

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