Woman who won $10 million lottery jackpot and lost it all advises 'don't trust anybody'
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Lotto Analyst
A lottery winner has opened up on what her life is like now, having returned to work after spending most of her winnings.
For myself, speaking in purely selfish terms, aside from paying off student loans the main thing would be travel and buying a nice house, perhaps a small Tudor house. For a luxury, maybe starting to collect rare books and manuscripts. That would be lovely.
Sharon Tirabassi, 35, from Hamilton in Ontario got to live out the imagined fantasy of what we would spend the money on if we did win the lottery.
In 2004 she purchased a Lotto Super 7 ticket, only to win a stunning $10 million when her numbers came up against the odds. It was particularly good as Tirabassi had grown up in various shelters as a child, and was now a millionaire.
However, the winnings did not come along with a financial advisor to help manage the huge newfound wealth.
Looking after an estate of that size is no mean feat. There are specialist advisors, accountants, and banks such as Coutts, who have recently been in the news, who can help.
Unfortunately for Tirabassi, she was not offered this advice and went on an enormous spending spree including houses, cars, designer clothes, and lavish parties.
Tirabassi also gave out loans to friends and family, as well as helping neighbours with their rent.
She admits that she only occasionally glanced at her bank balance, and wasn't worried as there were so many zeros on the end of it.
She told the Toronto Star: “You don’t think it’ll go (at the time), right?"
Eventually, however, she looked and saw that her balance had dropped to $750,000, so it was time to rein things in.
Now, Tirabassi rents a home with her husband and two children, and has picked up a part-time job. She says that she is much happier this way. Plus, there is still a hefty chunk left which has been put into a trust for her children when they turn 26.
Her husband Vinny was not bothered about going back to normal life.
He said: “I lived like this my whole life, I never was rich. We grew up like this, so we’re used to it.”
Vinny added that the money had caused a lot of headaches for her, and she had lost friends over it, with Tirabassi left thinking that 'money is the root of all evil'.
He said: “Friends that she hadn’t talked to in a long time came calling. Money doesn’t buy you happiness."
They also had some advice for people who win the lottery, urging them to only trust family and to keep their win to themselves as much as possible.