The Youngest Lottery Winners Of All Time
Most young people are often more concerned with other things than playing the lottery, which is probably why you don’t see that many winners aged 25 and below. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist though!
In fact, many young people have won big and become millionaires by playing the lottery. Some are now living lives many of us could have only dreamed of at their age. Others, however, couldn’t keep up with the lifestyle.
Here are the stories of the youngest lottery winners so far, arranged from youngest to oldest:
Youngest Powerball Winner
Jonathan “Jay” Vargas (19): Former construction worker who launched his own all-female wresting show after winning $35.3 million from Powerball. Full story below.
Youngest Mega Millions Winner
Shane Missler (20): Winner of a massive Mega Millions jackpot who announced his win on social media and attracted a lot of unwanted attention. Full story below.
Youngest Lottery Winner UK
Tracey Makin (16): Even though she is one of the youngest lottery winners on this list, she was much smarter about handling the money than most of her counterparts. Full story below.
Callie Rogers (16): On the other hand, this winner’s story shows how hitting the jackpot can lead to some really bad decisions. Full story below.
Youngest Lottery Winner Canada
Charlie Lagarde (18): Won a truly life-changing prize after playing the lottery for the first time. Full story below.
Full List of Young Lotto Winners
Tracey Makin (16) – €1 Million
Tracey Makin was only 16 years old when she won €1 million from the Lucky Dip lottery in 1998. Initially, the former supermarket employee from Belfast, Ireland thought that she had only won €10 but got the ultimate shock of her life when she learned of her big win.
Being young, one of the first things that crossed her mind was that she would never have to work again. While she didn’t end up living a luxurious life like most winners, Tracey managed to spend her winnings wisely. Thanks to the guidance of her parents, Tracey’s winnings have been tied up in investments. She is now holding a modest office job.
Callie Rogers (16) – £1.9 Million
Callie Rogers became one of Britain’s youngest lottery winners when the then 16-year-old won £1.9 million in 2003. Unlike Tracey Makin, Callie didn’t waste any time spending her winnings on frivolous things. For her initial shopping spree, she spent:
- £11,500 on two breast augmentation surgeries
- £85,000 on luxury sports cars
- £250,000 on cocaine
- £300,000 on clothes
Just a month after her big win, she also purchased a £180,000 bungalow so she could leave the foster care she was put in when her biological parents split up. She also gave her mother a new home worth £76,000. On top of all these, she and her friends would also frequently splurge on nights out.
Coming from a broken family and trying to make ends meet with a £3.60/hour checkout job at such a young age, Callie’s sudden gravitation towards luxury and escapism was, at the very least, understandable. Her new lifestyle, however, slowly took its toll on her, especially after she gave birth to her son Kian in 2005.
The pressures of being a mother combined with her unhealthy lifestyle eventually caught up with her. Callie considered suicide and took sleeping tablets along with some paracetamol. Fortunately, her family found her and took her to the hospital on time. In 2013, with just £2,000 left on her, Callie went on record to say that she was happier than ever.
Stuart Donnelly (17) – £2 Million
In 1997, 17-year-old Stuart Donnelly took home £2 million from a £25 million jackpot that was split among 12 other winners. According to his family and friends, it didn’t take long for Stuart’s spending to spiral out of control. He became miserable just as quickly as he had won.
As soon as Stuart got his winnings, he abandoned everything. He left his hometown, his pharmaceutical studies, and even his part time job at a local chemist shop. And like many lottery winners, he began spending a ton of money.
He took his friends on a vacation to Thailand, bought a ticket to a football game worth £2,000, and purchased a £90,000 home for his mother. To his credit, Stuart’s spending spree wasn’t all about living the luxurious life—it was also about helping other people.
Stuart donated around £15,000 to a Glasgow hospital where his brother had been getting treatments for a genetic disorder and he also bought a secluded villa where he took care of his father and best friend – Daniel, who was suffering from polio. Sadly, two years after Stuart’s big win, Daniel passed away.
Now alone in his mansion, Stuart became more and more reclusive. In 2003, he was quoted as saying that he was having a tough time with all the unwanted attention he was receiving. Seven years later, on January 6, 2010, Stuart Donnelly was found dead in his home. He was 29.
Jane Park (17) – £1 Million
Jane Park, a former admin temp working for £8/hour, became Britain’s youngest Euromillions winner when she bagged a £1 million jackpot at age 17. It was her first time to play the lottery – luck was definitely on her side. The young millionaire quickly went on a spending spree. Some of her more expensive purchases include:
- Luxury cars, like a BMW worth £25,000; a Range Rover worth £18,000; and a Volkswagen Beetle worth £17,000.
- Various designer clothes and accoutrements, like a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes worth at least £455.
- A total makeover costing £50,000, which includes breast augmentation surgery worth £4,500, Botox and lip fillers.
- Frequent holidays at five-star accommodations in Maldives and the US.
- A luxury three-bedroom home.
Now in her 20’s, Jane’s luck seems to be slowly, but steadily, running out. Despite living a luxurious life and splurging on holidays, expensive cars, and clothes, the young winner has become quite a magnet of misfortune since her big win.
Jane has had someone threaten to throw acid on her face and, on a separate occasion, hackers tried to extort money from the Scottish millionaire. She was also spotted trying to purchase a new Mercedes Benz while facing drink-driving charges. To make matters worse, Jane also lost £100,000 on a business venture that went nowhere.
Her list of misfortunes seems to go on and on. It’s become quite common to find a news story about Jane’s next run in with bad luck. She is well aware of it too and was actually trying to sue the lottery that made her rich because, according to her, the big win ruined her life. Jane was quoted as saying, “I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?”
Robert Salo (18) – $1,000 a Week for Life
Brooklyn resident Robert Salo was only 18—a high school senior—when he scooped up a $1,000 a week for life prize from a $2 Win for Life ticket he bought on a whim. He became one of the youngest lottery winners in 2012, and just one week before his high school graduation.
With an annual income of $48,000 before taxes, Robert could have decided to not go to college or get a job. He could have gone on partying hard or travelling the world, but he wasn’t like many lottery winners. What set him apart was the fact that he wanted to use the money responsibly.
Robert wanted to invest in himself. He longed to be an electrical engineer, but he wasn’t sure he could afford it. But after winning, he decided it was time to pursue his dream and planned on attending an out-of-state college.
Charlie Lagarde (18) – C$1,000 a Week for Life
Back in March 2018, a young Canadian woman bought her first ever lottery ticket to celebrate her 18th birthday. As luck would have it, that very ticket catapulted her into a life of wealth and comfort. That’s if everything goes well, of course.
The lucky lady, Charlie Lagarde, won Loto Quebec’s Gagnant à Vie game and snatched the top prize of C$1,000 a week for life. She had the choice of going for the lump sum of C$1 million (approximately $767,000) or the weekly payout. After consulting with a financial adviser, she chose the latter option, as it is exempt from taxes.
The first big purchase she made? A brand new camera to help her with her dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic.
Ianthe Fullagar (18) – £7 Million
Ianthe Fullagar was only 18 when she nabbed a share of a Euromillions prize in 2008. The teen from Cumbria, who had been working for £4.75/hour as a waitress, took home £7 million. Initially, she thought that she had only matched a measly three numbers but was completely shocked when she learned that she had just won the jackpot.
In 2010, Ianthe was recognized as the 27th richest person in the United Kingdom. Today, she has a net worth of at least £10.5 million thanks to several smart investments. At the time of her win she said that she had hoped to start her own law practice one day.
Jonathan “Jay” Vargas (19) – $35.3 Million
Former construction worker Jonathan Vargas was only 19 when he won the $35.3 million US Powerball jackpot in 2008. At first, Jonathan lived large – partying hard and spending his money on frivolous things. But, unlike many lottery winners, he thought about how to maintain his newfound wealth, which is why he enrolled in a personal finance course.
Unfortunately, despite working on several business ventures, including creating an all-female wrestling TV show, his efforts did not pay off. His TV show lasted only one season and his other investments fizzled out as well. Rumor has it that Jonathan is now broke.
Michael Carroll (19) – £9.7 Million
At 19, Michael Carroll wasn’t just one of the youngest winners of the National Lottery in 2002, he also became one of the most notorious. The Norfolk native, who won £9 million, began a life of luxury and excessive debauchery not long after his big win.
Not only did he spend £340,000 on a six-bedroom mansion, he also squandered his money on several luxury cars, parties, copious amounts of drugs, and women. Not content, he also held demolition derbies using the cars he had just bought, right in his own backyard.
A string of bad luck soon followed Michael. He got arrested twice; he got blackmailed; someone killed five of his dogs; and, ultimately, he lost all his winnings. He is now back at his job as a binman.
Shane Missler (20) – $451 Million
Shane Missler is the latest to join the youngest lotteries club as the 20-year-old won $451 million from the Mega Millions draw last January. He was the sole winner of the massive jackpot. According to a statement from Shane’s lawyer, the newly minted multi-millionaire will take home a lump sum of $281,874,999 after taxes.
Determined to succeed and not to follow in the footsteps of other lottery winners, Shane took a crash course in financial management soon after his big win. He says that while he fully intends to use his money responsibly, he also won’t forget to have fun along the way. Most importantly, he also vowed to take care of his family. Read more about Shane Missler’s story here.
Leah Sumray (21) – £1 million
Leah Sumray won £1 million from a scratch-off card when she was just 21 in 2009. Soon after claiming her prize, Leah packed her bags and went off to take a vacation in Fuerteventura. Upon her return, she was arrested at Bristol Airport.
Apparently, the young millionaire ignored a court summons that would have seen her testify—and provide evidence—against a man facing assault charges. She was slapped with a £200 fine and received an extended 14-day vacation—in jail.
Kricket Slik (21) – $3.5 Million
Kricket Slik of Hamilton, Ontario was only 21 when she became a multi-millionaire. The young Canadian bought a Quick Pick Lotto649 ticket on a whim and didn’t think much of it initially. When she and her boyfriend scanned the ticket the next day and it said she won big, Kricket thought the machine was broken. So, she tried scanning it again several times.
It kept saying the same thing. She was a big winner. Kricket was in shock—it wasn’t sinking in. Her boyfriend at the time thought she had only won $300 but her gut feeling said otherwise. She quickly signed the ticket and the pair went home.
Upon arriving home, they immediately hopped on the internet and checked the winning numbers. It was then that it finally sank in. Kricket just won $3,489,606.80.
Matt Topham & Cassey Carrington (22) – £45 million
Matt Topham and Cassey Carrington were only 22 when they became some of the youngest Euromillions winners, scooping up a massive £45 million payout in 2012. While the childhood sweethearts wasted no time enjoying their winnings—purchasing a house, sports cars and splurging on holidays—they were also quite generous. Not only did they buy cars for friends and take them on holidays, they also gave Matt’s best friend his very own house!
The couple married not long after winning and two years later, in 2014, their first child was born. Not everything went according to their plan though. Matt and Cassey had hoped to build an eco-friendly home, but it eventually fell through because they couldn’t get planning permission.
To top it off, the never moved in to the first home they bought—a seven-bedroom mansion in Nottingham—and was left in a state of disrepair. It became a hotbed of gang and drug activity, not to mention infested with rats. Still, despite their bad luck with housing, the couple seems to be doing better than a lot of lottery winners.
Sandeep Singh (22) – $30.5 Million
At age 22, Sandeep Singh became one of the youngest multimillionaires produced by the Mega Millions lottery. Sandeep, who was working two jobs to support his family, used his $4 winnings from a scratch card and purchased four Quick Pick Mega Millions tickets. One of the tickets ended up winning a huge payout.
The grand prize at stake was $61 million but because there was another who matched all numbers, it was divided into two which meant $30.5 million would go to each one (before taxes). Sandeep chose the lump sum option, so he took home approximately $16.1 million after taxes.
Sandeep, who had only been playing the lottery for a year, was initially in disbelief and It took a while to sink in. Once he collected his thoughts, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his winnings. First, he said that he would pay off his mother’s mortgage and share a portion with his family. He was also adamant in donating some to charity. Finally, he made it clear that he wanted to complete his studies and get a bachelor’s degree in business.
Kelsey Zachow (24) – $66 Million
Many people believe that Friday the 13s are unlucky but for Kelsey Zachow it’s the complete opposite. Kelsey was only 24 when she became a multimillionaire thanks to a Mega Millions ticket she bought on June 13, a Friday. The young mother wouldn’t learn of her big win until 11 days later though.
She had all but forgotten her latest lottery ticket and it sat inside her purse along with a bunch of other unchecked lottery tickets. On June 24, she realized that she had won the $66 million jackpot. Kelsey decided to take the lump sum option, leaving her with $27 million after taxes.
Apart from buying a house and several new cars, Kelsey also said she would save a portion of her winnings and put it into a college fund for her son, her boyfriend’s daughter, and her little brother Gus.
Manuel Franco (24) – $768.4 Million
The most recent young winner on this list, Manuel Franco from Milwaukee won a massive prize of $768.4 million for the March 27, 2019 Powerball drawing. He was the sole winner of the now third-largest jackpot in lottery history.
He came forward last April to claim his prize, opting for the single lump sum of $477 million, and took home about $326 million after taxes.
Luke Pittard (25) – £1.3 Million
Luke Pittard isn’t like other lottery winners—and it’s not because of his young age. At age 25, when Luke won a £1.3 million jackpot in 2006, he immediately quit his job flipping burgers at McDonald’s. While it’s normal for lottery winners to quit their jobs and move on to something new, Luke went back to his old job only 18 months after his big win.
His reason? He missed his co-workers and he just loved working at the popular fast food joint. His co-workers thought he was mad for going back even though he is now a millionaire, but Luke simply told them that “there is more to life than money.”
Many players age 25 and below have won big at the lottery. Some went on to be successful while others went flat broke! Here are their stories.
UK’s youngest Lotto winner says she’s proof kids should be banned from playing
EXCLUSIVE: When Callie Rogers landed a £1.875m jackpot aged 16 it changed her life – but for all the wrong reasons – and now she’s calling on the government to raise players’ legal age to 18
- Sign Out
- 22:19, 31 JUL 2019
- Updated 07:22, 1 AUG 2019
The youngest UK lotto winner wants the age limit to be 18 after her windfall made life hell.
Callie Rogers, 32, won £1.8million aged 16 but said: “I was too young.”
There will not be many people who declare they are happier than ever after blowing a £1.875million lotto jackpot.
But Callie has told how landing a fortune at 16 plunged her into a cycle of despair as she suffered physical and verbal abuse and was hounded by “fake friends” who only wanted a slice of her fortune.
The 32-year-old insisted she is glad the cash has gone and called on ministers to raise the lottery gambling age limit to 18.
She feels she was too young to handle the pressure and wants to stop other kids going through the same hell.
Single mum-of-three Callie is now earning just £12,000 a year as a carer and living in a £500-a-month rented home. And she insisted: “I am the happiest I have ever been.”
But she revealed how after her win she lavished hundreds of thousands of pounds on family and friends, endured abuse by total strangers and was beaten up by two jealous women.
And she said she is still owed £200,000 by “fake pals” who took her debit card to buy Macbooks and gifts for themselves as she partied at the height of her fame.
Callie welcomed a government consultation on the lottery gambling age and joined the campaign to raise it.
It comes amid mounting fears over the potential impact of gambling addiction on children’s mental health.
She said: “People still ask me about the lottery win all the time.
“You are only a 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.
“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.”
Callie recalled how when she was told she had scooped the jackpot on June 28, 2003, making her Britain’s youngest lotto winner at 16 years and three months, she thought even then it was “too much” money.
She was earning £3.60 an hour as a Co-op shop assistant in her home town of Workington, Cumbria.
Callie, whose dad Jeff, 50, recently died of cancer, said: “I did not want that much money. 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 £15million jackpot, I thought, ‘I don’t want that much.’ In the end it was shared out and I got £1.85million, 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.”
But Callie moved out and bought her first house at 16 with then boyfriend Nicky Lawson, the dad of her eldest children Kian, 14, and 11-year-old Debony.
Callie, who also had a son, Blake, seven, and daughter Georgia, three, with fireman Paul Penny, splashed the cash on holidays, cars and presents.
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.”
At age 21 things took a sinister twist after she and Nicky had a difficult time.
Callie tried to kill herself and her children were taken from her.
She spent £17,000 on boob jobs to boost her self confidence.
But Callie denies she spent £250,000 on cocaine.
She said: “Put simply, someone else was going to sell a story on me.
“It was put to me that I might as well talk about it. So many people made money from selling fake stories. So I agreed to talk. 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.”
Callie advises any young winners to keep their fortune secret.
She said: “The publicity was the hardest part for me because of my background.
“Suddenly, everyone was dragging up my past life. It was such good story for Camelot, they reckon their ticket sales rocketed after I won.
“The win was not a massive part of my life. I was pleased to help all my family, but the money was never that important to me, maybe because I never had any growing up.”
The last of Callie’s jackpot went seven years ago on a £30,000 deposit for her former family home. Ex-partner, Paul, 40, still lives there. She regards it as an investment for her children. She also bought a house for her grandparents now worth £140,000.
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.”
EXCLUSIVE: When Callie Rogers landed a £1.875m jackpot aged 16 it changed her life – but for all the wrong reasons – and now she's calling on the government to raise players' legal age to 18