The UK’s youngest lotto winner is calling for the age limit of lottery players to be increased, having said she was ‘too young’ when she landed her fortune.
Callie Rogers won a whopping £1.8 million when she was just 16. At the time, she was earning £3.60 an hour as a shop assistant at the local Co-op in her home town of Workington, Cumbria.
Single mum Rogers, now 32, told The Mirror that the cash has now all gone – but has admitted she’s never felt better, now earning just £12,000 a year as a carer and living in a £500-a-month rented home.
“I am the happiest I have ever been,” she told the newspaper.
The mum of three explained how she felt she was too young to handle the pressures of winning so much money at such a young age.
Rogers at 16. Credit: PA
“You are only 16, with all that responsibility,” she said.
“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.”
The Government has announced that the National Lottery age limit could rise from 16 to 18, in a hope to help solve Britain’s growing gambling problem – an idea that Rogers supports.
“I did not want that much money,” she said.
“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 £15m jackpot, I thought, ‘I don’t want that much.’ In the end it was shared out and I got £1.85m, 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.”
Callie appeared on This Morning last year to discuss her win. Credit: ITV
While Rogers has admitted to spending £17,000 on boob jobs in a bid to boost her self confidence, she denies blowing £250,000 on cocaine.
She said: “Put simply, someone else was going to sell a story on me.
“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.”
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.”
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.”