Young Lottery Winner Says $1.6 Million Prize Ruined Her Life

Jane Park was only 17 years old when she won the £1 million ($1.6 million) Euromillions jackpot, four years ago. She was ecstatic at the time, but Park has recently revealed that she plans to sue the lottery for negligence. She claims that winning so much money at a young age has ruined her life, and argues that argues that people under 18 should not be allowed to play the lottery.

Ms. Park was working as an admin temp, earning $13 an hour, when she won the lottery. She now owns two properties, drives a Range Rover and can afford all the designer clothes and handbag she used to only dream of. But that doesn’t mean she’s happy. If anything, splurging on these material things sometimes just makes it worse, to the point where she feels that her life has no real meaning. It’s definitely not how she pictured her life when she went public as Britain’s youngest Euromillions lottery winner, four years ago.

“At times it feels like winning the lottery has ruined my life. I thought it would make it 10 times better but it’s made it 10 times worse. I wish I had no money most days. I say to myself, ‘My life would be so much easier if I hadn’t won’,” Jane said. “People look at me and think, ‘I wish I had her lifestyle, I wish I had her money.’ But they don’t realize the extent of my stress. I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?”


Photo: Jane Park/Twitter

Jane believes that the last four years of her life might have been a lot better had she been a little older when she won. In her opinion, the minimum age for playing the lottery should be 18, and not 16 as the current rules say. Apparently, winning so much money at a young age changes a person, and often times not for the better, and despite having a financial counselor provided by the lottery, the 17-year-old was still overwhelmed by pressure.

“I’ve read about other lottery winners who’ve just blown it all and I can totally see how it can be done,” Jane told Sunday People. “I was stuck in front of a financial adviser who was using words like investment bonds. I had no clue what they meant.”

But perhaps most troubling for Jane is how different her life is form that of her friends, and not being able to explain how hard things are for her, because none of her friends have been in her shoes. “It’s scary how different my life is from my friends,” Park says. “When they say they’re stressed about the money they mean their wages are s**t. There’s no one in the same boat as me, no one who really understands. I feel like I’m a 40-year-old.”


Photo: Jane Park/Twitter

The money and notoriety have apparently also taken a toll on Jane’s love life. “I’ve had s**t relationships and it’s left me with a massive guard up,” she said. “With the last one, I ­showered him with gifts. I thought it would make him happy. I bought him a Rolex, a car, clothes every week. I regret it all.”

The unexpected winnings made her look for quick fixes to her appearance as well. She spent around $6,000 on breast implants when she turned 18, and would have done even more work had surgeons not turned her down. For example, she wanted to get liposuction to adjust her figure, but the doctor told her that she was not overweight enough to qualify for the procedure.

The 21-year-old lottery winner admits to having a weakness for designer shoes and handbags, but claims that buying the things she likes hardly makes her feel better about her life. “There’s no point in going shopping all the time, you can only order so much. I get sick of it,” she said.


Photo: Jane Park/Twitter

And if all this complaining sounds unjustified, you should know that Jane Park is not the only one to have gone through all this. In 2013, Callie Rogers won £1,875,000 ($2,350,000) at the tender age of 16. She also reported having trouble adjusting to he new-found wealth, went on spending sprees and even tried taking her own life, at one point. She agrees that people shouldn’t be able to win large sums of money at young ages, and claims to be much happier now that she has spent most of her winnings.

“I don’t think of myself as a lottery winner – I try to forget the ups and downs I’ve been through and just feel like a normal person,” Rogers said in 2013. “It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won’t change, it does – and often not for the better.”

Interestingly, in 2015, Jane Park said that the £1 million hand’t changed her, but she seems to be seeing things differently now.


via The Independent

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