An 18-year-old Canadian woman has made a phenomenal splash into adulthood with the unlikely win of a huge lottery ticket payout.
Charlie Lagarde, who celebrated her 18th birthday on March 14, will receive $1,000 each week, for the rest of her life.
Lagarde, from the Montérégie region in Québec, Canada, bought a bottle of champagne and her first lottery ticket to celebrate her milestone birthday.
The $4 dollar scratch ticket snagged the teen a whopping $1 million dollar payout.
Lagarde was ecstatic, sharing the news with her family. She then spent a couple weeks considering the weighty decision of whether to accept the $1 million as a lump sum or spread it out over her lifetime.
Financial experts are divided on which decision is considered the wisest. “You want the time value of all that cash working for you,” said Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” who generally advocates taking the lump sum.
But as many former lottery winners have said, managing a sudden windfall of money can become a burden. Many winners find their lives increasingly difficult after winning the lottery — the exact opposite of what one hopes would happen.
“If you’re not disciplined, you will go broke,” Missouri lottery winner Sandra Hayes told the Associated Press. “I don’t care how much money you have.”
Lagarde opted to spread the cash out over her lifetime, and at just 18, she has plenty of life ahead. She will receive $1,000 ($776.73 USD) a week — for the rest of her life.
“It’s without taxes so it’s equivalent to a salary of more than $100,000 a year,” lottery representative Patrice Lavoie told the Canadian Press. “So it’s a great start in life for that young lady.”
Lottery spokesman Brian Lecompte told CNN the teen has a good head on her shoulders. “She’s so sweet, down to earth, grounded,” Lecompte said.
Lagarde is passionate about travel and photography and plans to use her money to pursue both. She has already purchased a high-quality camera.
“I want to study photography,” Lagarde expressed. “One of my dreams would be to work for National Geographic.“
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