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
- Sign Out
- 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 ]]>