In what may sound like a prank headline, the UK National Lottery operator, Camelot, is being sued for negligence by the UK’s youngest ever lottery winner. Jane Parks struck it lucky (or unlucky as the case may be) four years ago when she became the youngest winner in the history of the UK national lottery.
However, while most people only dream of winning the lottery, and would jump for joy if they won, Parks say it ruined her life. According to her, the legal age to buy a national lottery ticket should be 18 and not 16 and, had it actually been that way, perhaps she her story would have been a bit different.
Parks won a cool one million pounds when she was just 17 years of age and claims that it was an event that “ruined her life”. According to Park it really was a case of way too much, way too quickly for someone who was far too young to deal with it effectively.
At the time, Park was employed as a temporary administrative assistant and was earning around eight pounds an hour. One of Park’s main complaints is that there isn’t someone “in the same boat” as her, someone who understands what she is going through. According to Park, instead of making her unbelievable happy, the money that she won has made her unbelievably miserable, she “feels like a forty year old”. She went on to say that, while she has “material things”, she feels that she has no purpose in life.
Park wants to sue Camelot for negligence because, according to her, 16 is too young for someone to buy a lottery ticket, the legal age should be at least 18. If it had been 18, she would not have had to go through the “ordeal of winning a million”.
However, Camelot has responded to the claims of the seemingly unlucky winner. According to Camelot, a number of measures are in place to help lottery winners’ deal with the sudden changes. Camelot went on to say that Park was indeed assigned a personal winners’ adviser and was also put in contact with another lottery winner of a similar age. Her personal adviser made regular visits and helped her set up private banking and support for publicity that she might have to deal with.
Camelot also offer ongoing support and keep in touch with winners to ensure that everything is going well and that there are no issues in any regard including financial, psychological or emotional that winners have to deal with.
Ultimately the entire story, along with potential law suit seems a bit unbelievable and any grounds that Park may think she has is certainly weak at best. For one thing, the legal age that one can buy a lottery ticket from Camelot has been determined by the British parliament and not by Camelot themselves. In other words, it is not actually possible to sue someone for obeying the law.
A few critics of Park also question why, if the money has made her so unhappy, does she not simply get rid of it all by donating it to various charities? Finally, perhaps the biggest irony of all is that, if she does go ahead with her law suit and actually wins, she will once again be sitting with a lot of money, and perhaps even more miserable.