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Winning lotto as a teen – blessing or a curse?

Finding a magic formula that could bring you loads of money with minimal effort seems tempting to many, and young people are no exception. As soon as they reach legal age, many teenagers try to achieve this goal by playing lotto, thinking of it as a fast track to immense wealth. Many discover that playing this game very often consists of checking a ticket and realizing your numbers didn’t come up and even if they did, not everything is as perfect as it seems. Spending an enormous lotto prize wisely requires certain level of maturity – some teens have it, while others carelessly squander their fortune. Here are few of them, so learn from their mistakes and invest your money reasonably if you win the astonishing €129.000.000 Euromillions jackpot!

7. Jane Park (£1.000.000)

teen lotto winner

Dubbed by the media as “Scotland’s luckiest teen”, the young Edinburgh resident scooped a £1.000.000 Euromillions prize at the age of 17 and it exposed her to “enough nasty comments to last a lifetime.” Park faced Twitter abuse after appearing on BBC’s “Teenage Millionaire - The Year I Won the Lottery” where she revealed that a portion of her prize was spent on designer handbags, a house and breast enhancement surgery.

6. Stuart Donnelly (£1.900.000)


Back in 1997, the 17-year-old Stuart Donnelly toasted his £1.900.000 prize with a glass of Coca-Cola because he was too young for champagne. Shortly after that he dropped out of a pharmaceutical course he was attending at the time and shelled out some money to help his family and friends. He found it very hard to deal with all the attention and spent a lot of time alone in his luxury home, where he had been found dead in 2010 at the age of 29.

5. Callie Rogers (£1.900.000)

teen lotto winner

After becoming the youngest lottery winner in Britain’s history in 2003, the 16-year-old spent fortune on cosmetic surgery, drugs and partying. As years passed, Rogers struggled with depression, tried to commit suicide three times, became single mother and lost almost all her money. Back in 2013, she admitted she has only £2.000 left in her bank account, but said she’s never felt happier. Her partner, fireman Paul Penny and three children helped her get back on track and “feel like a normal person.”

4. Ianthe Fullagar (£7.000.000)

teen lotto winner

Fullagar is one of few teen millionaires who managed to keep her head above water after striking lottery gold. Her £7.000.000 fortune won in Euromillions drawing back in 2008 only grew larger in years to come, since she invested her money wisely. Although Fullagar showed an impressive level of maturity later, her reaction to the win was age-appropriate – she screamed so loudly her dog Brock bit her on the bottom, hid her ticket in her bra and celebrated with beans on toast, curly fries, cider and ice cream.

3. Michael Carroll (£9.700.000)

teen lotto winner

Carroll became one of the most infamous lottery winners as he very publicly squandered his £9.700.000 fortune which he won playing National Lottery at the age of 19. The self-proclaimed “King of Chavs” wasted millions on drugs, fast cars and prostitutes, spent time in jail and declared bankruptcy by 2010. Three years later he was working in a biscuit factory for £204 a week, and reportedly had been given a room in a homeless hostel in Inverness after being dismissed from his job in 2014.

2. Anonymous West Midlands teen (£22.000.000)

teen lotto winner

The 18-year old lotto winner from West Midlands made a wise choice by staying anonymous, escaping the pressure of the public eye that fellow lotto-winning teens faced.  After pocketing the £22.000.000 Euromillions jackpot in 2013, he celebrated his win in one of the Middle East's most opulent hotels and donated some money to charity according to his friends, who revealed this information to the Birmingham Mail.

1. Jonathan Vargas ($35.300.000)

teen lotto winner

After winning a $35.300.000 Powerball prize back in 2008, the 19-year-old Vargas “partied like a rock star” and “had hundreds come up to me looking for money”. He used the jackpot to meld two of his dreams – professional wrestling and beautiful women – by founding a production company “Wrestlicious”. When asked if that’s a good way to spend millions, he said the following:

“It certainly has been an awesome learning experience. Best case, we have a huge hit. Worst case, I have a tax write-off.”

The show has been canceled after a year and it is rumored that Vargas is now broke.