Callie Rogers won more than a million on the lottery when she was a teenager. And being young and naive, she squandered most of the money in the space of a decade. Now, 15 years on from her epic win, she has described the dramatic changes her life underwent after she became rich overnight.
In 2003 Callie was a normal 16-year-old who lived in Cumbria, England, with her foster family. At the time, she made her living working as a cashier at a local supermarket, where she earned £3.60 ($4.66) an hour. However, little did she know that her fortunes were about to change.
That year, Callie became the youngest-ever lottery winner in Britain, bagging herself nearly £1.9 million ($2.5 million). But while this was clearly a life-changing amount of money, the teenager failed to make her fortune last.
Shortly after receiving her cash, Callie had two breast augmentation surgeries at a cost of £11,500 ($15,000). She also squandered £300,000 ($396,000) on make-up, tattoos and clothing as well as a further £85,000 ($112,000) on fast cars.
Callie also spent £250,000 ($330,000) on exotic holidays and gifted £118,000 ($156,000) to former boyfriends. Clearly generous, she loaned £190,000 ($251,000) to family and friends – money which has reportedly not yet been paid back.
And so, after a decade of partying and reckless spending, Callie was practically penniless. Still, even though she had burned her way through almost all of her cash, she did have two properties to her name – one of which she had bought for her mom.
And in 2013 Callie had just £2,000 ($2,600) and had tragically attempted to take her own life three times. Thankfully, though, the lottery winner pieced her life back together with the help of her family. By that point, Callie was a mom of three, so she decided to pour all her energy into her children.
In 2013 Callie told Closer magazine, “We’re a normal family and save. The pressure to splash out and live a glam party life has gone – and I prefer it. My life revolves around the kids and, if they want something expensive, they wait for birthdays and Christmas.”
It was only as her children grew that Callie realized how much she could have done with her impressive win. In fact, the young mom began to develop regrets about her spending – particularly when she thought about the things that she could have done for her son Blake.
Blake had an identical twin; tragically, however, his sibling did not survive childbirth. Callie believes that Blake also suffered during the difficult delivery by being starved of oxygen. And, later, the little boy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
By the time Blake was six, then, he was unable to walk without help and could not talk; he also had issues swallowing. However, despite his problems, the youngster could light up the room with his smile and was always up for a hug.
But while Blake appeared to be happy, Callie knew that she had once had the means to improve his life in a small way. “It’s my one big regret that the money isn’t here for Blake,” she explained to the Daily Mail in August 2018.
In the interview, Callie also revealed what her top purchase for Blake would be. “He loves sensory stimulation,” the doting mom explained. Therefore, she added, “If I had that money, I’d give him the biggest sensory room you could buy.”
However, Callie tries to not let the what-ifs get her down. Instead, the single mom focuses her energy on providing for her kids through her job as a carer. And while money may not be as easy to come by as it once was, she is content in her life.
Speaking of her lottery win, Callie said to the Daily Mail, “Yeah, I lost it, but it doesn’t make me a loser.” She added, “I’m working hard now to provide for my kids. I might not have all that money, but I’m a happier person for it. People don’t believe that, but it’s true. I was never even interested in money.”
And Callie revealed where she was at financially 15 years after her lottery win. She explained, “My kids don’t want for anything. At the end of the month, there is usually enough for a few treats, but I couldn’t go out and buy a new car tomorrow. If I want a holiday, I have to save.”
Looking back, Callie also thinks that her lottery win was a case of too much, too young. As a result, she’d like to see the National Lottery in the U.K. introduce an age limit for participants. In addition, she believes that winners under the age of 21 should have their money given to them in instalments.
During an appearance on British daytime TV show This Morning in August 2018, Callie explained, “At 16 you’re just a child, and then suddenly overnight you’ve got to become an adult.” She added, “You don’t have any understanding of money and the concept of what it brings.”
Summarizing her fleeting experience as a young millionaire, Callie told Closer magazine, “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.”
And using the benefit of hindsight, Callie concluded that her win certainly didn’t buy her happiness. “It was too much money for someone so young,” she said. “Even if you say your life won’t change, it does – and often not for the better.”