Thursday, February 18, 2016


Weekly, all over the globe, people buy lottery tickets with the hope to some day strike it lucky and win that jackpot prize. Many have even gone as far as deciding what they would do with their winnings: buy their dream house, travel the world, pay off their debts, etc.

The reality is that winning the lottery jackpot doesn’t always make your all dreams come true, or solve your monetary problems.

This is evident with Callie Rogers, who became Britian's youngest lottery jackpot winner in 2003 at the age of 16. Her jackpot win of £1.9 million saw her living out her dreams and then losing it all to poor planning, cosmetic surgery, parties and drugs.

After spending £250 000 on cocaine and becoming an addict to class A-drugs Callie says, "It feels like a lifetime ago. I was too young to win the lottery - I don’t think 16 year olds should be eligible."

Callie was living in foster care after a bout of arguments with her mom Susan Wilkinson. She had been placed with a wonderful couple, but after her win in 2003, she moved out and began spending her winnings.

Designer clothes, lavish gifts and cosmetic surgery didn’t make this jackpot winner any happier, instead she was left feeling so lonely and vulnerable that she attempted suicide three times.
Thirteen years later, mother of three, Callie is training to be a nurse and although she has only £2 000 left in her bank she believes that she is finally truly happy.

Callie, 29, lives with her partner Paul Penny and son Blake, in a modest £80 000 house. This "ordinary" family shops for bargains at Tesco, saves up for family vacations and only has takeout’s on weekends.

"I don’t think of myself as a lotto winner - I try to forget the ups and downs I've been through and just feel like a normal person.  Even if you say your life won’t change, it does - and often not for the better.  It nearly broke me, but thankfully I'm now stronger."

The long struggle with depression eventually came to an end soon after she met fireman Paul in 2010.
"Paul had no idea who I was or that I was even a millionaire," she said "I didn't tell him - after a while, he found out from mates, but he fell for me, not the money."

Paul and Callie’s lives have not been free from pain either, Blake was one of twins, but his brother was delivered still born and despite the heartache that this couple has endured, Callie admits that she is finally happy for the first time since her lottery win.

"My life revolves around the kids and, if they want something expensive, they wait for birthdays and Christmas. I'm glad they'll grow up knowing the value of money." She added: "For so long, I drifted with no aims. Now I have a job and my family to care for."

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