Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and some of the most surprising stories involve lottery winners who somehow managed to burn through their massive jackpots. They were unprepared for such a high amount and indulged in lavish spending without having any sort of backup plan and in the end they went broke. Sharon Tirabassi is just one of the lottery winners who lost everything, but her cautionary tale stands out from the crowd due to the huge amount that she wasted in less than 10 years.
How to spend more than $1 million per year
Sharon Tirabassi watched in disbelief how her $10.5 million jackpot went down the drain in nine years, and even when she was down to less than 1 million, she found no way to end the downswing. In the absence of a financial adviser to recommend wise investments and moderate spending, Sharon purchased expensive houses, traveled to fancy parts of the globe and bought ridiculously pricey cars. She didn’t keep everything to herself and made generous donations to friends and relatives, but sadly most of them did not prove worthy of her generosity.
Equally large amounts were loaned to people who suddenly remembered that they were friends with the lottery winner, and failed to repay the debt. By the time the 35-year-old tried to reduce spending it was already too late and now she and her husband Vinny work hard to support their six kids. Times are tough for the young couple but at least there is some money saved in a trust for their kids when they turn 26.
From agony to ecstasy and back
When Sharon won the jackpot in 2004 she was working to pay the rent and the $10 million changed her life overnight. She took her friends on expensive trips paid by her, bought a house and married her boyfriend who already had three children from another marriage. She didn’t know what to do with all this money and spent half a million on cars alone, bought an expensive house and plenty of designer clothes. Sharon and her family were living the dream and all those who even remotely knew her called and visited asking for money in the form of both financial aid and loans.
Looking back at what happened, the young couple agrees that their generosity was misplaced and Sharon threw too much money away. It goes without saying that now when they went broke most of these friends never visit and those who own the money have turned into total strangers. It is almost ironic that the couple now struggles to pay the rent once again and lives from paycheck to paycheck, but neither of them is bitter. The children are healthy and the two of them are used to the hardships of life, and are confident that they can turn their lives around.
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