UK’s Youngest Lottery Winner to Sue Operator for Negligence

Posted on: February 15, 2017, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: February 15, 2017, 11:56h.

The UK’s youngest ever lottery winner is planning to sue the national lottery operator, Camelot, for enriching her and thus blighting her existence.

Youngest UK lottery winner to sue Camelot.
Jane Park relaxes with the giant novelty check for £1 million that ultimately “ruined” her life. She says the legal age to buy a lottery ticket in the UK should be 18. (Image: Jeff Holmes)

Four years ago, Edinburgh native Jane Park won £1 million ($1.24 million) at the tender age of 17, an event that “ruined” her life, she claims. It was a case of too much, too young for Park, who was working as a temporary admin assistant on £8 ($10) an hour at the time.

“There’s no one in the same boat as me, no one who really understands,” complained Park to the Sunday People. “I feel like I’m a 40-year-old.”

Park plans to sue Camelot for negligence because, had the legal age to buy a lottery ticket in the UK been 18, as she believes it should be, as opposed to 16, she would have been spared the entire miserable ordeal of winning a million.  

“I thought it would make [life] 10 times better but it’s made it 10 times worse,” she moaned. “People look at me and think, ‘I wish I had her lifestyle, I wish I had her money.’ But they don’t realise the extent of my stress.

“I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?” she queried.

Camelot Responds

In a statement to the Independent this week, Camelot denied the accusation of negligence, detailing the support program in place to aid the suddenly and unexpectedly loaded.

Park was assigned a dedicated winners’ adviser who made home visits to help arrange private banking and support her through any publicity she chose to engage in.

An independent financial and legal panel was set up for her shortly after her win and Camelot also put her in touch with another winner, who won at the same age, to 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 ongoing support,” said the operator.

Flimsy Ground

Now, we’re no legal eagles but a couple of things strike us immediately about this case, beyond the fact that if she really wanted to divest herself of her riches she could donate it all to charity in a matter of minutes.

1) The legal age to participate in the lottery is 16. That is the law, established by an act of parliament, and you can’t really sue someone for obeying the law.

2) If she actually wins and successfully sues for damages, she’ll be in for another windfall, which will presumably make her even unhappier.

Maybe this is the point. Maybe she plans to rid herself of the burden of wealth by plowing all her riches into one of the most ill-advised legal cases of all time.

Clearly her legal team does not share her aversion to money.