Lottery winner says lottery tickets should come with Government health warnings similar to those on cigarettes
By Kate Northrop
A EuroMillions lottery player who won a £1 million (US$1.187 million) in 2013 at the age of 17 is using her experience as a winner to promote placing a Government health warning on lottery tickets.
Lottery winner Jane Park, of Edinburgh, is warning other hopeful players of the potential fallout that comes with winning a large prize.
In 2013, Park won a £1 million EuroMillions prize at the age of 17 and since then maintained that it was not the dream-come-true she had initially imagined, rather it was a "twisted fairytale."
Since claiming the prize, she says she was blackmailed and threatened with violence, and at one point threatened to sue Camelot for selling her a ticket at 17.
"The lottery should come with a health warning similar to smoking and drinking," she told The Sun. "I understand they can't make winning sound awful, but they have a responsibility to not mislead the public."
A lot of the problem, she says, has to do with how the National Lottery handles its advertising. For example, television ads should be aired later at night to limit exposure to minors, she proposed.
"The adverts should be aired later in the evening, and advertising should be out of the way from children," Park explained. "It sounds silly, but children dream of either being famous or winning the lottery, and if it wasn't so glamorized, maybe there would be more ambition rather than gambling."
Part of the danger of exposing children to the lottery and promoting it solely as a fun game is that it diminishes the real-life ramifications that come with gambling.
"People always refer to the lottery as 'playing the lottery,' but it's not 'playing,' it's just plain gambling — apart from picking some number, there is no game element to it," Park argued. "How it wasn't held to the same legislation as gambling from the beginning baffles me."
Having purchased her own winning ticket at the age of 17, another facet of Park's campaign was to prevent minors from playing the lottery. She worked to bring attention to the subject, drawing from her own experience as a young lottery winner.
"Part one of my mission was to have the age range increased, part two is to try and make advertising the lottery more truthful," she said.
In April 2021, the UK National Lottery raised the minimum age to play the lottery from 16 to 18.
"I was prepared to go to court to get my argument known, but the media attention it received got my point heard by the right people, and I didn't need to go that far in the end," she said in an interview. "I know that is directly because of the attention I brought to the subject."
There are countless examples of lottery winners who have infamously mismanaged money to the point of financial ruin, such as UK lottery winner Michael Carroll, who won a £9.7 million (US$17 million) jackpot in 2002 and spent it on drug-fueled parties, demolition derbies in his backyard, and various properties and amenities.
However, Park says she has managed her million-pound win successfully and continues to field marriage proposals and pleas for money to this day.
"It may be parents with terminally-ill children or needing life-changing surgery, [university] students who want me to pay for their education," she revealed. "I also get a lot of marriage proposals. I'd say I get at least one a week. It's not from anyone interested in me, it's from people interested in the money."
With strangers inquiring about her bank account balance daily, she says winning the lottery is overly glamorized, and that the reality is more of a "twisted fairytale."
"I'm proud that I have invested my money wisely, and nine years later I'm still living a good life," she told The Sun. "It just feels like people are waiting for the day I become broke and homeless, but I won't let that happen."
In a statement to the online journal, a Camelot spokesperson affirmed that the National Lottery has and continues to take steps to provide ongoing council and support for their lottery winners, including Park.
"Camelot takes its duty of care to winners very seriously, and all major winners are offered support and advice for as long as they wish," their statement reads. "That support is tailored to each winner's situation and circumstances — and for younger winners, their age will obviously be an important factor in the advice and support offered."
According to Camelot, a dedicated winners' advisor visited Park at her home to pay out her prize, arrange private banking, and support her through the publicity when she chose to share news of her win. Shortly after, they helped set up an independent financial and legal panel for her.
Camelot had also connected her with another winner who won a lottery prize at the same age so that they could share their experience with Park and help her adjust to the win.
"We keep in contact with all major winners for as long as they wish and have been in touch with Jane from time to time since her win to offer her ongoing support," Camelot continued. "Of course, it is always up to the winners themselves as to whether they want to take up that ongoing support and advice — but the door is always open, and we will continue to support Jane in any way we can if that is what she decides she wants."
She is so beautiful no wonder why she gets marry proposals every week 😙
Wow really nice boobs
She is going to sue, she is out of cash and now lives a high maintenance lifestyle, only poor men offer marriage, can somebody please help booby mcboobs?
As the song goes, money cannot buy you class.
And she chose to go public with the win. I doubt she has more than a little money left.
Money and looks aside, this morality trip she's on is kinda a turnoff. Would have been better to keep quiet about the money, so the person she meets likes her for her and not her wealth.
i wonder if she bought those with part of her winnings
She is not doing it so much for herself as trying to make things better for those that follow her.
Yes, she should probably have kept quiet about her win.... But that is history and she has to live with her decision to go public.
I suggest that you read the article. She invested the money and is "doing quite well thank you very much."
The lawsuit would probably have been aimed at getting the rules changed so that people under 18 (a 16 YO could have played at the time) can't buy tickets.
suing someone in UK is not the same as doing it in USA...
from my POV , shes claiming her crown/government appointed nannies failed at thar tasks to protect her from her then young foolish self and wants her Barbie dream life back
she ought to be laughed out of court
I read most of the article, Congrats to her on her win, I hope she does well in all her endeavors and finds someone who truly loves her, being used and having your heart broke really sucks.
It's the complaining about the win that kinda turned me off.
I see Jane is from Edinburgh and as a Scotsman my own self, I naturally feel the inclination to help the young lass out in anyway I can. And no, it's not because of her assets. I'm just a caring nuturer, and although a couple of those assets could possibly commence the mind of a lesser man to wander, I would stay the course. I'm an Oak. Pretty much. For the most part.
The mistake she made was going public. In the UK, lottery winners have the right to remain anonymous, the vast majority do so.
Jane makes some very good points. She seems like a very smart lady. I love the fact that the win happened years ago and she is still living a comfortable life. She apparently not only invested well but avoided ripoffs and scam artists. Kate mentioned the "Lotto Lout" Michael Carroll in the article. Michael was a great example to every player in the UK on what not to do. Jane set the opposite example with her actions.