Britain’s youngest Lottery winner regrets not saving her millions for disabled son
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When Callie Rogers won the Lottery aged 16, her friends and family thought she would be set up for life.
But now, 15 years later, most of the mum-of-four’s £1.8 million winnings have been spent.
Now the 31-year-old, from Workington, Cumbria, says she regrets her frivolous spending – particularly now that she has a young disabled son.
Six-year-old Blake has cerebral palsy and can’t walk unaided, talk or even swallow properly.
‘A lot of the time, I don’t care about money,’ Callie said.
‘I was never one for designer clothes or flash cars. But it’s my one big regret that the money isn’t here for Blake.
‘He loves sensory stimulation. If I had that money, I’d give him the biggest sensory room you could buy.’
Callie became Britain’s youngest ever Lottery winner in 2003.
At the time, the teenager had been working in her local Co-op, earning just £3.60 an hour.
But one fateful night in June, she checked her Lottery ticket to discover she had six matching numbers.
What followed was a whirlwind of publicity, expensive holidays, cars, houses and boob jobs.
One week after her win she was handed £3,000 in cash and had help opening a private banking account.
But Callie, who had never been further than Blackpool, soon found the instant fame overwhelming and struggled to manage her money.
‘I just opened my front door and the photographers were there,’ she said .
‘From then, I couldn’t walk down the street.’
After buying houses for herself, her mum and her grandparents, the youngster said she started dishing out ‘loans’ to so-called friends who would then never pay her back.
‘It was my own fault. Some lad said he owed £13,000 and was going to be in trouble if he didn’t pay it, so I paid it,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘I was handing out £200 here, £300 there, sometimes more.
‘My grandparents were doing a clear out recently and they gave me a box of stuff. There were old cheque books in it.
‘I couldn’t believe the cheques I had written for people. I remember sitting in a room drinking and people were using my card to buy MacBooks.’
She also frittered away her winnings on drugs and booze – although she vehemently denies it being anywhere near the reported sum of £250,000.
Today, Callie lives with her son Blake and his two-year-old sister, Georgia in a modest house rented for £400 a month in Workington, Cumbria.
She continues to shop at Asda and now works as a carer, having gone back to college to study social care.
Her two older children, Kian and Debony, aged 13 and 11, live with their father but she sees them every week.
Their father gained custody after Callie attempted suicide twice in 2009, having suffered with depression for years.
She says that her winnings had a negative impact on her mental health and now firmly believes 16 is too young for people to be allowed to take part.
‘I don’t think any 16-year-old should be able to win the Lottery, because at that age you just aren’t equipped for it,’ she said.
‘And you can’t do any other gambling until you are 18. Why is the Lottery different?
‘I was buying houses when I didn’t have the first idea about the responsibilities involved. I didn’t know how to pay a bill because I’d never had to. I didn’t know what council tax was.
‘I’d go as far as to say anyone under 21 should have a win like that given to them in stages, like in America.’
Luckily some of Callie’s money is still tied into her grandparents property, meaning her winnings have not completely disappeared.
‘It’s in a trust, but it does mean I haven’t lost it all. There will be something for my children,’ she said.
However, Callie states that her present life is much better than her previous riches, insisting that she is happier now than she was before.
‘I lost it, but it doesn’t make me a loser. I’m working hard now to provide for my kids,’ she said.
‘I might not have all that money, but I’m a happier person for it.
‘People don’t believe that, but it’s true. I was never even interested in money.’
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UK’s youngest Lotto winner says she’s proof kids should be banned from playing
EXCLUSIVE: When Callie Rogers landed a £1.875m jackpot aged 16 it changed her life – but for all the wrong reasons – and now she’s calling on the government to raise players’ legal age to 18
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- 22:19, 31 JUL 2019
- Updated 07:22, 1 AUG 2019
The youngest UK lotto winner wants the age limit to be 18 after her windfall made life hell.
Callie Rogers, 32, won £1.8million aged 16 but said: “I was too young.”
There will not be many people who declare they are happier than ever after blowing a £1.875million lotto jackpot.
But Callie has told how landing a fortune at 16 plunged her into a cycle of despair as she suffered physical and verbal abuse and was hounded by “fake friends” who only wanted a slice of her fortune.
The 32-year-old insisted she is glad the cash has gone and called on ministers to raise the lottery gambling age limit to 18.
She feels she was too young to handle the pressure and wants to stop other kids going through the same hell.
Single mum-of-three Callie is now earning just £12,000 a year as a carer and living in a £500-a-month rented home. And she insisted: “I am the happiest I have ever been.”
But she revealed how after her win she lavished hundreds of thousands of pounds on family and friends, endured abuse by total strangers and was beaten up by two jealous women.
And she said she is still owed £200,000 by “fake pals” who took her debit card to buy Macbooks and gifts for themselves as she partied at the height of her fame.
Callie welcomed a government consultation on the lottery gambling age and joined the campaign to raise it.
It comes amid mounting fears over the potential impact of gambling addiction on children’s mental health.
She said: “People still ask me about the lottery win all the time.
“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.
“Overnight I went from carefree child to adult. All these years on, it still gets dragged up.
“Even when I go for job interviews, I am thinking about it.
“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.”
Callie recalled how when she was told she had scooped the jackpot on June 28, 2003, making her Britain’s youngest lotto winner at 16 years and three months, she thought even then it was “too much” money.
She was earning £3.60 an hour as a Co-op shop assistant in her home town of Workington, Cumbria.
Callie, whose dad Jeff, 50, recently died of cancer, said: “I did not want that much money. I was in foster care and for the first time in a long time, I was really settled and really happy.
“When they told me it was a £15million jackpot, I thought, ‘I don’t want that much.’ In the end it was shared out and I got £1.85million, but even then it was hard to take in.
“At 16 you do not know what is ahead of you, because by God I did not expect any of that. I asked the Co-op if I could have my old job back.”
But Callie moved out and bought her first house at 16 with then boyfriend Nicky Lawson, the dad of her eldest children Kian, 14, and 11-year-old Debony.
Callie, who also had a son, Blake, seven, and daughter Georgia, three, with fireman Paul Penny, splashed the cash on holidays, cars and presents.
She added: “I would give money to distant relatives and friends of friends. I loaned £20,000 here, £13,000 there. I would never get it back.
“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.”
At age 21 things took a sinister twist after she and Nicky had a difficult time.
Callie tried to kill herself and her children were taken from her.
She spent £17,000 on boob jobs to boost her self confidence.
But Callie denies she spent £250,000 on cocaine.
She said: “Put simply, someone else was going to sell a story on me.
“It was put to me that I might as well talk about it. So many people made money from selling fake stories. So I agreed to talk. I know that I was far from perfect. I did what teenagers do and I went out and had parties.
“But I have never ever been a druggie or blown a load of money on cocaine.”
Callie advises any young winners to keep their fortune secret.
She said: “The publicity was the hardest part for me because of my background.
“Suddenly, everyone was dragging up my past life. It was such good story for Camelot, they reckon their ticket sales rocketed after I won.
“The win was not a massive part of my life. I was pleased to help all my family, but the money was never that important to me, maybe because I never had any growing up.”
The last of Callie’s jackpot went seven years ago on a £30,000 deposit for her former family home. Ex-partner, Paul, 40, still lives there. She regards it as an investment for her children. She also bought a house for her grandparents now worth £140,000.
Camelot said: “Callie received extensive support from us which lasted many years. She didn’t take up the independent financial and legal advice offered by us. However, our winner’s team fully supported her and helped her to handle media interest.
“We will continue to support Callie in any way we can if she wants.”EXCLUSIVE: When Callie Rogers landed a £1.875m jackpot aged 16 it changed her life – but for all the wrong reasons – and now she's calling on the government to raise players' legal age to 18 ]]>