London, England - Britain’s youngest ever lottery winner, Callie Rogers, has called out the National Lottery for letting people under the age of 18 to play.
Already 32 years of age, Rogers won a whopping £1.9m ($2.31m) in 2003 when she was just 16 years of age. Back then, she was working as a shelf stacker at a local store when she purchased the winning ticket.
Looking back on the experience, Rogers said that she was not prepared to handle the rigors of being a millionaire at that young an age. To avoid anything like that from ever happening, she is calling for the minimum age for players to be increased from 16 to 18.
The government recently announced it has already considered raising the minimum age for National Lottery tickets as part of an evaluation of the new lotto franchise. This move has Rogers’ support.
The minimum age for gambling is 18 in the UK, but the National Lottery is an exception to this rule. The government’s recommended plans include raising the minimum age to play National Lottery scratch cards and online games in a bid to protect susceptible people from gambling. These actions are part of an overhaul of the UK’s gambling laws to reduce the worrying rates of gambling addiction.
Rogers has taken the time to spread the word of her harrowing experience, being a young millionaire. “You are only 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.”
After receiving the incredible amount of money, Rogers admitted to spending her winnings on holidays, fast cars, and cosmetic surgery. She also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on presents for family and friends. She believes she was driven to all these because of her youth and susceptibility.
She added that winning such an immense amount was way too much for a young teenager to handle. As a result, she found herself facing abuse from strangers and was once assaulted as a result of the windfall. She has since said she is still owed almost £250,000 ($303,385) by friends, who used her debit card to buy lavish gifts and laptops after they celebrated winning the jackpot.
However, lottery operator Camelot has stated that Rogers did receive support. It says it has safeguards in place to help winners.
In a statement, Camelot relayed: “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 winners' 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.”