A girl bought her first lottery ticket on her 18th birthday — and won $1,000 a week for life
Charlie Lagarde won’t forget her 18th birthday anytime soon.
When the teenager popped into a Québec convenience store to buy a celebratory bottle of bubbly and a lottery ticket, she had no idea that she would walk away with the grand prize of $1,000 Canadian dollars ($775 US dollars) a week — for the rest of her life.
According to HuffPost, Lagarde bought a bottle of champagne and a scratch-off ticket at the store. She scratched the ticket once she was back home and realized she had won the grand prize with the first lottery ticket she ever bought, Brian LeCompte, a representative from Loto-Québec, told INSIDER. Lagarde is not giving interviews at this time.
LeCompte added that Lagarde bought the ticket for $4 Canadian dollars, and her chances of winning were one in 6 million.
“She rushed to tell her family the news; everyone was overjoyed by this stroke of luck,” he told INSIDER.
“To celebrate her 18th birthday, she bought her first lottery ticket and. won the grand prize! Charlie will receive $1,000 per week for the rest of her days!” Loto-Québec tweeted on March 26.
Lagarde then had a difficult choice to make: receive weekly payments of $1,000 for life or a lump sum of $1 million ($780,000 US dollars).
“She decided to think it over for a few weeks before choosing between the weekly income and the lump sum,” LeCompte said. “She ended up opting for the former.”
“It’s without taxes so it’s equivalent to a salary of more than $100,000 a year, so it’s a great start in life for that young lady,” lottery spokesman Patrice Lavoie told People.
Douglas Boneparth, certified financial planner and president of Bone Fide Wealth , said that although taking the lump sum would most likely be more lucrative, Lagarde probably made the right decision when it came to how she would collect her winnings.
“This might have been appropriate for her, and I say that because it really comes down to how disciplined and how understanding of personal finances you are,” Boneparth told INSIDER.
Most 18-year-olds are not financially disciplined enough to make prudent decisions on their own with that money, he said.
A post shared by Loto-Québec (@lotoquebec_officiel) on Mar 26, 2018 at 10:39am PDT Mar 26, 2018 at 10:39am PDT
The choice between a lump sum and weekly payments ultimately comes down to what would be more prudent financially versus what would make the most sense for a particular individual, Boneparth said.
He said this issue often comes up with pension payouts.
“Take my mom, for example,” he said. “[She] feels more secure knowing there’s a steady stream of income than getting that lump sum.”
That could be the case for Lagarde, he said.
The next step for the young winner is to figure out what her goals are because there are many ways she could spend her newfound income, Boneparth said.
“If she wants to start a business — and $1,000 a week is great money to make that happen — then she can take the risk of starting a business,” he said.
Or maybe it can help her afford a better apartment, he added.
“It’s very hard to say what she should do, but it’s easy to say now is the time to figure out what are your goals and how can this money help you achieve those goals,” Boneparth said.
Boneparth said he hopes Lagarde is aware that this money can have a significant impact on her life.
“This is an opportunity to better one’s life, and if used constructively, it could really turn into something amazing,” he said. “At the very least, it can help deal with the day-to-day expenses. Sounds like this person has $4,000 a month to not have to worry about. It’s pretty cool. There are a lot of people in this world that are raising multiple kids on that kind of money.”
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Canadian teenager Charlie Lagarde got quite the 18th birthday present when she scratched off a lottery ticket to discover she had won $1,000 a week for life.