At 16 she became Britain’s youngest lottery jackpot winner, but her £1.9million prize proved more of a curse than a blessing.
Callie Rogers gave up her job and frittered most of her money on parties, drugs, cosmetic surgery, holidays and gifts.Ten years on, Miss Rogers has only £2,000 left in the bank – but says she has never felt happier.For instead of bringing happiness, her riches left her feeling so lonely and vulnerable that she attempted suicide.Now the 26-year-old is training to be a nurse and shops for bargains in Tesco. The closest she comes to splashing out is ordering a Friday night takeaway.
She lives in a modest £80,000 three-bedroom house in Workington, Cumbria with her partner, fireman Paul Penny, 34, and son Blake, one. Her new life has not been free from tragedy, however – Blake was one of twins but his brother Mason was stillborn. Miss Rogers, who has two children aged eight and six from a previous relationship, said: ‘I can’t believe ten years have passed since I stood holding that huge cheque.‘It feels like a lifetime ago. I was too young to win the lottery – I don’t think 16-year-olds should be eligible.
‘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. It nearly broke me, but thankfully, I’m now stronger.I try to forget the ups and downs I’ve been through and just feel like a normal person.‘The pressure to splash out and live a glam party life has gone – and I prefer it.’Miss Rogers, who works two days a week as a carer for the elderly and is taking an NVQ in caring in preparation for a nursing course next year, met Mr Penny in 2010.‘Paul had no idea who I was or that I was ever 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.‘We’re a normal family. We shop at Tesco, save for holidays and stay in with takeaways.‘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.’At the time of her win, Miss Rogers was living with foster parents and earning £3.60 an hour as a Co-op checkout girl.
Within weeks, she met Nicky Lawson, father of her eldest two children, and moved into a £180,000 bungalow. She says she spent £250,000 on cocaine during their relationship.She quit work and splashed out on designer clothes, lavish presents for her biological parents and holidays.She told Closer magazine: ‘I got up late and lived on takeaways. And so-called mates would come over until the early hours to party. ‘Suddenly, I was a local celeb and people would come up to me in pubs as if they were my best friend and I felt pressure to buy them all drinks. I didn’t know who to trust.’She added: ‘For so long, I drifted with no aims. Now I have a job and my family to care for.’ – DailyMail