She’s already one of the most photographed women in the world, just because she’s Prince Harry’s girlfriend, but not many people know about Meghan Markle and the secret lottery win that helped shape her destiny and turn her into one of the most widely recognized faces of the last few years. Here’s her remarkable story so far.
The star of Suits really has become a lucky winner in life, and not just because she’s a world-class actress and partner of Prince Harry, but also because she had an early boost to her career after her father scooped a substantial amount of money on the lottery, which meant she could go after her dreams of fame and personal fortune.
Road to Fame
Markle’s half-brother Tom picks up the story of how their father – also called Tom, won $750,000 (which roughly equates to £565,000) when Meghan, who is now 36, was 9 years old. Officials at the home of the Californian Lottery could find no official record of the win, but it was later confirmed. Tom Junior said: “’Dad rang me one day and told me to come over. There was a lump on his bed under a blanket. I pulled it back and saw stacks of money there. My first reaction was, ‘What did you do?’ He started laughing and said, ‘I won the lottery!”
Once the lottery win was paid out, the family moved to Los Angeles and took a bungalow in the Woodland Hills area. Speaking about his father, Tom recalls someone who was a “workaholic” with a work ethic that he feels Meghan has picked up, and although he was someone who needed alone time and lots of private space, he always made time for Meghan whose the family believes was genuinely the apple of his eye.
At the time of the win, Tom Senior was married to Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, and the money was in part, put to one side so that Meghan could go to some of the best schools in the country and get the best training for her career. Tom Senior began working on shows such as ‘Married, With Children’ and continued to achieve a high wage.
Tom went on to say there was a genuine love for quirky comedy in the family and it was at this time they would watch Monty Python and Benny Hill together. Tom Senior’s love of practical jokes was often turned into elaborate plays and productions that added to the sense of fun at home, and no doubt fuelled Meghan’s passion to perform too.
Tom Snr was also earning good money even when Meghan was in junior school and after the lottery win. This enabled him to send her to Hollywood’s private ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’, the former school of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. “When you saw Meg on stage, even as a kid, it was clear she was going to be a star. She came alive” said Tom. From there she was sent to the ‘Immaculate Heart Catholic School’ another one of LA’s finest educational establishments and ended her scholarly career by attending Northwestern University where she studied drama.
Meghan’s Father Has Since Filed for Bankruptcy
Even after such a huge lottery win, there’s an inevitable sad twist in the tale as last year Tom Snr declared bankruptcy. Tom Junior believes this has been largely due to a few unsound investments made by one of his business partners.
There’s another facet to the story too, as it appears Meghan and her half-siblings have become estranged over the last few years, since her remarkable rise to fame.
Although they have lost touch, Tom insists he is very proud of his sister and wishes her well for her future. “She never lost focus, she worked so hard to make herself a star. When she sets her mind to do something she gets it” he commented, on her admirable work ethic.
He’s keen to point out there was no falling out or arguing, saying that after she got the role on Suits it took her into a stratospheric level of fame and the two just drifted apart. “She got new friends, mixed in fancy circles. I was married and living my life. We stopped being close” he added. The two have another sibling, Samantha, with whom there is a less happy tale to tell. Both he and Samantha came from Tom Snr’s first marriage in 1964. Problems have arisen in the relationship between all three siblings when Samantha decided to write an exclusive, tell-all book about Meghan’s life, which is said to be titled “Diary of a Pushy Princess”. With a title like that, it’s hardly likely the story will be a positive one, and it has driven a wedge between the families.
Tom is adamant that Samantha is trying to ride on the coattails of Meghan’s fame, even though she was rarely around when she was growing up.
Will Tom Senior See His Daughter Get Married to Prince Harry?
Well, it’s looking increasingly likely. Ton Junior is keen to point out that his father is enjoying his retirement, but would love nothing more than the chance to walk his princess down the aisle should she and Prince Harry become engaged and get married.
It’s believed that Meghan has just finished filming her latest series of hit TV drama Suits and is now reportedly looking into moving from Toronto to the UK to be nearer to Prince Harry. The move fuels speculation that an engagement announcement is imminent and the BBC and ITV are already putting documentaries together, highlighting the couple’s relationship so far.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Tom Junior, now 51 commented that “If Meg marries Harry she’ll have won the lottery of life but dad winning the lottery helped us all”. He said that her laser-sharp focus and ambition were a big help in getting her to where she is today, but that the initial win helped to cement her future. “She was always the family’s princess but now she’s going to be a real princess and I couldn’t be more proud” he added, speaking of the potential engagement between his half-sister and Prince Harry.