Teenage millionaire: The year I won the lottery

Jane Park on holiday in Spain Image copyright Finestripe
Image caption Jane Park won the lottery on her first attempt

Jane Park was just 17 when she won £1m with her first ever lottery ticket. How did the big win affect one of Scotland's youngest lottery millionaires?

In the summer of 2013, Jane had left high school and was working in a temporary admin job for a charity organisation.

She had split up with her boyfriend and was living with her mother in a two-bedroom flat in south-east Edinburgh.

Jane tells the BBC documentary Teenage Millionaire: "I'm from a council estate called Niddrie. It's not exactly Beverley Hills.

"People who are not from there think it's errghh but I think it's alright because all my family are from here and everyone knows each other."

Lucky dip

At the end of July last year, Jane saw a lottery sign outside a local shop and decided to buy a lucky dip ticket for the first time.

She says she wasn't even sure she was old enough to do the lottery, thinking you had to be 18.

Jane announced her £1m win on Facebook, complete with astonished-face emoticons.

Her best friend Danielle thought it was "a wind-up".

But it was all real. Jane was one of the UK's youngest-ever lottery winners and her life was about to change.

"Plain Jane from Niddrie was on the news," she says.

The newspapers came calling and a chauffeur-driven limousine took her to her photo-call, "with me wearing a Primark dress", Jane says.

Who wants to be a millionaire?

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Seventeen-year-old Jane Park is one of the youngest ever lottery winners. She won £1m with her first ever lucky dip.

Watch the Teenage Millionaire programme on iPlayer

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Her granny Anne was shocked that they would give such a huge sum to someone so young.

"It's like giving someone a gun," she says.

Granny Anne adds: "People like us just don't have that kind of money."

For Jane, the first few weeks were "overwhelming". As well as the constant questions about what she was going to do with the money, there were some nasty comments on social media which she found hard to shake off.

Her mother Linda says: "When she won the lottery she was sitting here crying. It was too much stress for her."

Image copyright Finestripe

Jane says: "The hardest decision was to decide how much to give my family and friends. Not something that would leave me short but not something that they would say, 'Is that it?'

"I didn't want them thinking she's being a bit tight there."

Before deciding what she wanted to do with her new wealth, Jane took a break in Magaluf and went on her own as none of her friends could get the time off work.

It turned into a "bit of a disaster" when she broke her arm diving off a stage and then wrecked her knee in a fall.

After recovering back home in Edinburgh, she prepared for her 18th birthday by splashing out on some designer gear - handbags being a favourite.

Jane says: "The first thing I bought was a Louis Vuitton handbag."

Image caption Jane bought a Louis Vuitton handbag and a Chihuahua

She also bought a Chihuahua dog which she called Princess.

But her most expensive purchase was a three-bedroom house on an new estate in East Lothian.

"I didn't want everyone to think I won the lottery and still lived with my mum and shared with my sister," Jane says.

When she eventually moved into her new home, she lasted three weeks before moving back in with her mum.

"I planned it rubbish because I couldn't make the bed, I couldn't clean, I didn't know how to pay the bills, I could never be bothered lifting the Hoover upstairs," she says.

Jane says she was not prepared for the loneliness and isolation of being away from her family and friends.

She is close to her family even though her mother Linda admits that she struggled with drugs when Jane was growing up and was "not there" for her daughter.

Too posh

Jane says: "I stayed with my granny most of my life. I went from granny's to aunty's to foster care.

"My mum had her own issues. She still loved and cared for us. She still came and saw us all the time."

Mother and daughter bonded on a holiday to Benidorm at the start of the year but fancy hotels did not interest them.

"I find with the more expensive hotels the food is too posh or the people are a bit snobby," says Jane.

"I've got ordinary tastes. I like going on holiday and being around people like me."

In April she went off to the Majorcan resort of Magaluf again, this time determined to stay for the summer season and be just like all the other 18-year-olds, working hard and partying hard on the island.

Again it was an experience that taught her how much she missed her family and true friends.

After more than a year of coming to terms with her lucky break, Jane is reflective about what money can do for a person.

She says: "Money can't buy you love, can't buy you friends, can't buy you a family.

"But it does bring a certain degree of happiness. I can do things I have never done before, that I have never been able to experience."

Watch Teenage Millionaire: The year I won the lottery on BBC One Scotland on Wednesday 17 December at 22:30.

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