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 center 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 drawback 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.
During the interview, Dr. Phil McGraw said to her: “You had stalkers, death threats, people hiding in the bushes and commenting on everything you were doing, which when you’re 17 that kind of gets under your skin.”
Jane, from Edinburgh, 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 went on to claim that the lottery encouraged her to go public with her win because she was so young.
“You can be anonymous, but you are encouraged to go public – they prefer that especially when the case is a bit different,” she said.
“So because I was 17 they were like ‘oh this is kind of unheard of, you should tell people’.”
Dr. Phil was interested in how Jane dealt with the lottery jackpot at such a young age because she had no experience dealing with a lot of money and could do everything wrong in the process of trying to figure out how to make her life better with the newfound wealth she had just acquired.
Jane said: “I splashed out a bit because I never knew the value of a million pounds. I’d never seen that kind of money. I never knew anyone with that kind of money, so I kind of splashed out on stuff that I’ve always wanted.”
Jane said while she didn’t regret any of the money she spent, she did regret going public.
Since she won in 2013, Jane has been raising awareness for the age limit of the lottery to be raised from 16 to 18 in the UK.
“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.”
Dr. Phil asked Jane what she thought about the concept of “the curse of the lottery”, to which she replied: “It’s a very dark fairy tale that I think no one actually warns you about.”
Watch the interview below for more details: