A few years ago, I was on CNN talking about my first book.
All they wanted to talk about was lottery winners who lost it all. I told them the truth. That far more lottery winners have financial advice…and don’t throw it all away.
Or blow it all away, as British teen lottery winner Callie Rogers, did.
Rogers, 22, according to the London Daily Mail, and other British newspapers, blew through nearly all of a
jackpot of over $3 million, spending a substantial amount of it on cocaine.
Rogers told local British media that her ex-boyfriend Nicky Lawson got her hooked on cocaine and that she spent £250,000 (about US$406,000) on the habit.
“I was spending a fortune on cocaine, a nasty evil drug that tears your life apart,” Rogers was quoted as saying. “I’ll be honest. About a quarter of a million pounds of my win has been wasted on it.”
Rogers won $3 million about five years ago. But apparently the stress of instant money caused her many problems.
“I was just too young to cope with suddenly having that amount in the bank,” she told the press. “Particularly when I’d come from nothing,” she said.
“In the past six years I have sunk into a black hole, a black hole that at one point I thought I could never crawl out of.” Rogers said her drug-induced depression had caused her to attempt suicide three times.
Rogers’ winnings were spent on expensive cars, gifts, loans to family members, four houses she bought and furnished for herself and family members, luxury vacations, plastic surgery, clothing, and partying, as well as a trust fund for her children. “I won’t lie, I’ve blown most of it,” she said. “But do you know what? I don’t care. Because all that money has brought me is heartache.”
Rogers said she had £20,000 in a bank account and “that’s about it.”
She is trying to rebuild her life.
Rogers has moved back into her mother’s house and is working three cleaning jobs to make ends meet, according to the Mail. She has two children, ages one and four.
Words of advice then. When you win a big lottery prize, go to get some objective financial advice before the big shopping spree. Sure, pay off your bills.
But hold off on the mansions and cars and loans to family members until you have solid, trusted advisors.
And with that…a most happy Labor Day holiday to all of the Americans reading this today.