News

UK’s youngest ever lottery winner reveals why she wishes she never won the money

Moment mother discovers she has won £1 million on National Lottery

Winning the lottery sounds like a dream come true for many, however, the UK's youngest-ever winner has revealed why receiving the big prize money isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Jane Park, a call centre temp from Edinburgh, was 17 years old when she bought her first lottery ticket, only to discover she had won £1m on the EuroMillions after her winning numbers came up in a draw back in 2013.

A decade on from this life-changing moment, Park now 27 revealed to Dr. Phil in the episode The Curse of the Lottery, how the win had a negative on her life and wishes she had never won the money.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

"You had stalkers, death threats..." the celebrity psychologist Phil McGraw said to Park.

To which she replied: "I wish I'd never won it, I wouldn't wish it on anyone."

"At 17, you aren't even a proper adult, you know what I mean, I was such a young naive 17-year-old as well," she explained and provided some further context as to why she went public with her win at the time.

"You can be anonymous, but you are encouraged to go public - they prefer that especially when the case is a bit different.

"So because I was 17 they were like 'oh this is kind of unheard of, you should tell people'."

But Park added: "I don't regret any of the money that I've spent. My only regret would be going so public."

Though what was supposed to be a celebratory life event soon became a "dark, twisted fairy-tale," for Park as a result of the online abuse she received.

"I have not even spent all of the money and they seem to think they know more about my life," she said.

"It's hard because when I was younger I read the comments and it affected me and these people have never met me and they've probably never even seen me.

Park also detailed how the National Lottery raised the age to play from 16 to 18 in April 2021 and believes her threat back in 2017 to sue lottery bosses for "ruining" her life may have helped contribute to this change.

She has shared her story publicly over the years with This Morning, Loose Women, LadBible and the BBC documentary called Teenage Millionaire: The Year I Won The Lottery.

"In the UK, it was 18 to gamble and 16 to play the lottery. You couldn't put a pound in a machine or couldn't go in the shop and buy cigarettes or alcohol, and you couldn't go into a casino, but you could play the lottery.

"I was basically wanting them to listen, like me calling them up and saying 'you should raise the age' they were never going to listen and that is why I went massive with it.

"Since then, that story went very big and they have raised the age to 18 and I feel like I've made a massive impact on that."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)