Youngest Lottery Winners

8 of the Youngest Lottery Winners Ever

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When it comes to the lottery, we’ve heard of the horrors and successes. We’ve seen the bonds of tight-knit families fractured and questions of who deserves what? Where should it go? How do I spend it? On the other side of the coin, we’ve seen the best of human nature exemplified, including healing communities, lifting loved ones from the rock bottom of poverty, and achieving financial independence.

A lot of what comes after winning the lottery and whether or not the recipient can survive boils down to financial education, money management skills, and age. Age offers a perspective and level-headedness in the face of life-altering windfalls that standard book smarts might not readily provide. It also informs decisions on who to let in on your newfound successes, not to be too flashy, which are all things that younger generations might struggle with when they’re navigating their new financial landscape.

That’s why today we’re going to be looking at some of the youngest lottery winners of all time and finding out whether or not they were able to make the most out of a fortune that some would call a terrible curse!

8. Tim Schultz

Age: 21
Year: 1999
Amount: $28 Million
From: Des Moines, Iowa

Tim Schultzphoto source: ialotteryblog.com

1990 presented a peculiar year for the soon-to-be wealthy thanks to the US Powerball. It saw a streak of young winners that all started with Tim Schultz. Like most 21-year-olds, Tim was a struggling college student working a nine to five in a convenience store trying to make ends meet. Even when education was more affordable in the 90s, it sometimes isn’t enough to support yourself when it comes to housing and the price of those textbooks!

Schultz stated that what inspired him to try his luck was a dream he had in which he won the lottery. It’s safe to say that everyone who wakes up and buys a lottery ticket either had a dream about it the night before or had day-dreamt about it on the way, at the very least. In this rare case, his dream became a reality.

Did You Know?

Like many lottery winners, Tim Schultz wasn’t immune to the ensuing legal trouble. His co-worker, Sarah Eldar, made a deal to buy half of his ticket, with the understanding that should he win, she’s entitled to half the earnings. Money has a way of changing hearts, and there was no exception here. The matter went to court, and ultimately the differences were settled between both parties outside of it. The law in Iowa requires you to be at least 21 to play, so it was an open and shut case. The settlement outside of court is undisclosed, but we can only hope that she walked away with a fair share.


7. Farrah Slad

Age: 21
Year: 1999
Amount: $150 Million
From: Brainerd, Minnesota

Farrah Sladphoto source: newspapers.com

Farrah Slad joined the exclusive ranks of the “21 and under to have won the lottery” club. In 1999, she took home a modest $150 million, and it came right in the knick of time! She had two weeks left on her apartment lease and was in the thick of the struggle to relocate and find new housing.

Like a scene out of a movie, with just $20 left in her pocket, $15 of it went to gas to make it to her family’s for dinner while the other $5 went to Powerball tickets. Fast forward a few years later, and she looks back on her lottery experience with a tinge of regret, saying, “there were many times I wish I had never won at all.”

Did You Know?

The first few things she bought were cars, a house, and season tickets to the Minnesota Vikings. As far as financial mishaps go, those are pretty tame, but Slad admits she splurged on a few things that, in retrospect, maybe weren’t the smartest. Slad took the “lump sum” option at $78.8 million, as opposed to the total jackpot that would have been distributed over 25 years.  


6. Shane Missler

Age: 20
Year: 2018
Amount: $451 Million
From: Pasco County, Florida

Shane Misslerphoto source: casino.org

Shane Missler was the newly minted millionaire thanks to the Mega Millions jackpot in 2018. The total pool came out to $451 million, making it the sixth-largest jackpot ever. After Uncle Sam had his say, Missler took home about 282 million dollars. Once a young, ordinary kid from Florida, probably never once thought that a couple of Quick Pick tickets at his local 7-Eleven would transform his life completely.

Since his winnings, Shane’s name has been used for dozens of scams. From fake tweets promising he would reward money to people who retweet him to fraudulent charities made in his name, it hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows. With more money always comes more problems. Unfortunately, that applies even more to the ones who win in such a public fashion with a spectacle as grand as the lottery.

Did You Know?

Shane was aware of the pitfalls that come with being young and wealthy. Taking matters into his own hands, he took a course in financial management and made sure to invest and use his funds responsibly.


5. Frederick Walker

Age: 19
Year: 2016
Amount: $2 Million
From: Florida

Frederick Walkerphoto source: mercurynews.com

January 2016 presented one of the largest Powerball jackpots of all time. Everyone was punching in their tickets for the chance to claim $1.58 billion. With money like that, you and every subsequent generation of your family would never have to work a day in their lives ever again.

Frederick Walker, a 19-year-old Florida boy, was no different than anyone who had a dream of financial security and comfort. 2016 was his first year playing the numbers, and when he arrived at the convenience store ready to buy a ticket, he noticed a slip with numbers already filled. For whatever reason, he decided that the abandoned slip would be his claim to fame. In a stroke of pure luck, it was.

Did You Know?

With how many people were playing this particular Powerball, the rules of probability demanded there would be more than just one winner. Walker still took home $2 million. Not a bad return on investment!


4. Jay Vargas

Age: 19
Year: 2008
Amount: $35.3 Million
From: South Carolina

Jay Vargasphoto source: wach.com

Jay Vargas was 19-years-old when he won the Powerball in 2008. Before winning life-changing money, he worked construction.

Vargas had a flair for the eccentric coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit. With his fortune, he launched a wrestling organization called “Wrestilicious.” The show featured WWE-style wrestling but with women dressed in little clothing. The show was a big bust and cost him a large chunk of his fortune.

Did You Know?

Vargas had a vision. He claims the inspiration for the numbers he chose were from the ages that his family would be turning.


3. Charlie Lagarde

Age: 18
Year: 2018
Amount: Canada
From: $1,000 a week/life

photo source: scmp.com

Charlie Lagarde bought her first lottery ticket on her 18th birthday. As lucky as she is for winning the Loto Quebec’s Gagnant à Vie, I bet she feels bad that she might not ever outdo a birthday like her 18th!

Her first expense was modest and not as flashy as many winners who came before her. She purchased a camera that turned into her first step into pursuing her dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic.

Did You Know?

After consultations with a financial adviser, Charlie chose the $1,000 weekly payout over the lump sum option totaling $767,000 because of the tax exemptions.


2. Tracey Makin

Age: 16
Year: 1998
Amount: Belfast, Ireland
From: €1 Million

Tracey Makinphoto source: dailymail.co.uk

Tracey Makin was a supermarket employee until she won the Lucky Dip lottery in 1998. Upon initially winning, she thought she only won about €10 at first glance! We’re glad she decided to take a second one because who knows where she would be now had she not.

Whether she won or not, it’s ok to assume that she’d be doing just fine. And that’s because she’s been the poster-child for intelligent decisions post-windfall. Unlike most winners, she’s invested her money smartly and avoided the trappings of excess luxury. The money never changed her, just her circumstance.

Did You Know?

Tracey now holds an unassuming office job and continues to grow her assets safely in investments.


1. Callie Rogers

Age: 16
Year: 2003
Amount: Britain
From: £1.9 Million

photo source: the-sun.com

Callie Rogers is the youngest lottery winner!

Unlike our #2 on this list, she showed her young age. After cashing in a check, gifting her the keys to her new reality, she went to work on big spending and enjoying an excess of the finer things in life. 

Her expenses included multiple luxury sports cars, plastic surgeries, cocaine, and clothes. In total, she spent about £646,500 on extracurriculars that either depreciate or see no financial return whatsoever.

Did You Know?

Since her years enjoying the sudden wealth with friends and family, she’s been through hardships and learned from mistakes she made. In 2013, with only £2,000 left to her name, she stated that she was happier than ever. It was the money that let her learn these unique and valuable lessons and that is truly priceless.


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