Woman who won $10million and lost it all says 'money is the root of all evil'

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A Canadian woman won the lottery in her 20s and spent it all by the time she was 35, she says
A Canadian woman won the lottery in her 20s and spent it all by the time she was 35, she says

A lottery winner who bagged a whopping $10million (£8million) and lost it all in just 10 years says that she's discovered the saying "money is the root of all evil" is true.

Sharon Tirabassi, 35, from Hamilton in Ontario bought a Lotto Super 7 ticket on April 2004 weekend when she instantly became a millionaire overnight. It was beyond her wildest dreams, especially growing up in different homeless shelters, as she believed the money would last forever.

Sadly, though, the winnings didn't come with a financial advisor as she splashed out on a huge house, fancy cars, designer clothes, lavish parties, expensive trips, and loans to family and friends. Now, she has admitted she now has to work again. Tirabassi has picked up a part-time job - but says she is happier.

And she has warned that you can't trust anyone when you have that much cash.

Woman who won $10million and lost it all says 'money is the root of all evil' rriddqixxiqezinvSharon Tirabassi won $10million about 10 years ago, and says that at this point, she has almost nothing left and has taken a part time job

She told the Toronto Star that she was buying things and lending out money, only glancing at her account balance once in a while - thinking there were plenty of zeros at the end of her total. “You don’t think it’ll go (at the time), right?" Tirabassi says.

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But eventually, she whittled $10 million away and just had $750,000 left. Which is still a pretty hefty sum, and Tirabassi says that's going into a trust fund for her children.

She's currently renting a house with her husband and two of their children. Her spouse, Vinny, was just as nonchalant when asked if he missed the money. They both say they're used to this kind of life, and are happy living together and working at the end of the day.

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 money had caused his wife a lot of problems and headaches, confirming that the two have lost friends over it. At the same time, other 'friends' that she hadn't spoken to in years came out of the woodwork after she won.

Woman who won $10million and lost it all says 'money is the root of all evil'Winners are not required to work with financial advisers or banks, and often end up eventually losing their money (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Tirabassi says she couldn’t help give so much away. “That’s the way I was brought up. Help those who can’t help themselves.”

All of these events left Tirabassi 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."

Sharon would also use the money to help pay her neighbours' rent - and even helped a friend launch a business. In addition, the pair bought a number of homes in Hamilton and rented them out to families on a low-incomes. Until the day she realized there was just $750,000 (£600,000) left in her bank account.

She admitted: “And that was time for fun to stop and just to go back to life.”

The couple said plenty of friends never paid them back and they have unpaid loans. “(They said) ‘they’ve got enough so they’re OK, right?’ ” Vinny explained. “A lot of people do still think she has lots of money."

While they had it - they definitely enjoyed it. Tirabassi's spending continued as she bought a house, married 35-year-old Vinny and had three children. In total, the couple has six kids. They generously gave her parents $1million (£800,000) and split $1.75 million between her four siblings. The couple also bought four cars, a yellow Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger, and a Cadillac Escalade.

Just three years after her win, she'd already blown through half of it. In 2007, Vinny began having legal problems and served two stints in jail. That was when they lost their house in Ancaster. Since then, they've moved around a lot.

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She says she's now teaching her kids values and the importance of hard work. “I’m trying to get them to learn that they have to work for money,” Tirabassi says. “Every so often they ask for money and I say I don’t have any money till payday. You have to wait till payday.”

Yelena Mandenberg

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