British lottery winner Callie Rogers says despite having spent all but a few thousand of her winnings, she is happier today than she ever was as a millionaire.
Rogers was only 16 and earning £3.60 ($5.50) an hour when she won a National Lottery jackpot worth £1,875,000 (roughly $2,846,812) in 2003, according to the Telegraph. At the time, she vowed to behave responsibly.
"I will not go wild and spend loads," she said, according to the Telegraph. "I'm going to take some advice and see an accountant. Hopefully I will make us all comfortable. I want to help my family, but I won't change. I just want a normal home; nothing posh. I just want a normal car as well."
But as teenagers often do, Rogers quickly changed her mind and began spending her windfall. By 2011, Rogers, a mother of two at the time, had undergone two breast implant surgeries and attempted suicide four times, according to The Sun. She also revealed she had spent £250,000 (about $380,000) on cocaine.
Rogers also disclosed past traumas, including a childhood instance of sexual abuse.
“I prayed winning the Lottery would make me so happy I would forget what he did to me," she told The Sun. "But once the buzz of winning died down within weeks, I realized I was still crippled by the disgusting thoughts of what that man did to me.”
Today, nearly all the money is gone but so are many of those demons, reports Closer magazine.
Dating a new man and supporting three kids, Rogers lives in a modest house and is training to become a nurse.
“I don’t think of myself as a lottery winner," Rogers told Closer. "I try to forget the ups and downs I’ve been through and just feel like a normal person. It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won’t change, it does and often not for the better.”
In addition, life has taken a happy turn for the domestic.
“We shop at Tesco, save for holidays and stay in with takeaways," Roger said. "My life revolves around the kids and, if they want something expensive, they wait for birthdays and Christmas. I’m glad they’ll grow up knowing the value of money. The older kids don’t remember having more, so they don’t miss anything.”
While perhaps avoidable, Rogers' story is very similar to the tale of Michael Carroll, a British man who won £9.7 million (about $14.4 million) in 2002 at the age of 19. Carroll, too, has since spent all of his winnings and admitted a serious drug habit.