While most big-money lottery winners tend to be the old folks, several young players have also clinched the top prizes. This article delves into the lives of the youngest all-time lottery winners, their prize money, and where they are today.
Jonathan Vargas, aka Jay, was only 19 when he walked away with a cool $35.3 million in 2018, after matching the five white balls and the red ball in US Powerball, one of the biggest lotteries in the world. The former construction worker's life had changed suddenly, but then, his story didn't end well. He lived large, and his fortunes dwindled very fast even though he enrolled for a personal finance course. He invested in an all-female wrestling show, but the show plummeted at the box office just after a single season. That was the beginning of his end. Today, it's said that Jay is broke!
Another lucky young lottery winner is Shane Missler, who at 20 became a millionaire after winning the Mega Millions jackpot in 2018. He was the sole winner of the $451 million Mega Millions Jackpot, but he chose to take home a lump sum of $281,874,999. Luckily for Missler, he took a financial management course, and through his attorney, he has managed to stay afloat, unlike other young lottery winners who blew their fortunes.
Michael Carroll, at 19, won a cool £9.7 Million in a 2002 National Lottery. However, like with most young lotto winners, his was a sad story. The Norfolk native then went on a spending spree, buying a £340,000 six-bedroom mansion, before starting a life of debauchery. He also wasted much of the cars he bought on demolition derbies in his backyard. It wasn't long before bad luck caught up with him. He squandered all his money and returned to his job as a binman.
At only 18, Fullagar got a share of a Euromillions jackpot, taking home a whopping £7 million in 2008. At the time, the teen was on a £4.75/hour job as a waitress. But, unlike many lottery winners who squandered their money, Fullagar made some wise investments. Two years after she hit the jackpot, she was ranked the 27th richest person on the 2010 Rich List in the UK.
Among the youngest lottery winners is Tracy Makin, who scooped a €1 million prize money in a 1998 Lucky Dip lottery draw. The former supermarket attendant immediately quit her job and focused on investing her money. With the help of her parents, she made several wise decisions, which have enabled her to remain afloat all these years.
The story of Callie Rogers, the lucky British citizen who won £1.9 million in 2003, is also a sad one. At only 16, she was a millionaire, but things started going south almost immediately after cashing in her money. She went on exuberant shopping sprees. She first got an £11,500 breast augmentation surgery, bought a £180,000 bungalow, spent £250,000 on cocaine, and £300,000 on clothes. Years later, with all her money spent, she tried to commit suicide, but fortunately, she survived. By 2013, she had just £2,000 left.
The above are some of the youngest lottery winners of all time. Other worthy mentions include Stuart Donnelly (17) – £2 Million, and Jane Park (17) – £1 Million. Indeed, winning a lottery jackpot can be a lifechanging feat, but then, without proper financial consciousness, the money can go just as fast as it came, leaving winners in misery.