Britain's youngest ever EuroMillions winner claims winning should come with a ‘Government health warning’
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Back in 2013, Jane Park from Edinburgh scooped a £1,000,000 prize at the age of just 17, making her the youngest winner in the country.
However, since then she’s received threats and has been blackmailed, and now believes that the government’s recent shift in the age limit to 18 isn’t quite enough.
Now 26, Jane thinks the lottery should bear a warning similar to those that appear on tobacco products and alcohol.
She said: “The lottery should come with a health warning similar to smoking and drinking.
“I understand they can’t make winning sound awful, but they have a responsibility to not mislead the public.”
Park also reckons that adverts for lotteries shouldn't appear until later at night, and should carry a warning for when someone wins.
While the current adverts make it seem as if there’s nothing negative whatsoever about winning the lottery, Park knows all too well about how it can sometimes impact someone’s life.
She continued: “The adverts should be aired later in the evening and advertising should be out of the way from children.
"It sounds silly, but children dream of either being famous or winning the lottery, and if it wasn’t so glamorised maybe there would be more ambition rather than 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.
"How it wasn’t held to the same legislation as gambling from the beginning baffles me.”
Park also claims that she’s received countless unsolicited messages asking for financial help.
“It may be parents with terminally ill children or needing life-changing surgery. Uni students want me to pay for their education,” she explained.
“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.”
She added: “I’m proud that I have invested my money wisely and nine years later I’m still living a good life. It just feels like people are waiting for the day I become broke and homeless, but I won’t let that happen.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport said: "Last year we changed the law to protect young people from the risks of gambling and increased the minimum age to play the National Lottery from 16 years old to 18 years old.
"The National Lottery is regulated by the Gambling Commission and we will not hesitate to act further if we consider it necessary."
A spokesperson for Camelot told LADbible: "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. 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.
"Following her win, Jane received extensive support from Camelot. A dedicated winners’ advisor visited Jane at home to pay out her prize, arrange private banking and support her through the publicity when she chose to share news of her win.
"An independent financial and legal panel was set up shortly after her win and we put Jane in touch with another winner who won at the same age, to share their experience and help Jane 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.
"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."