Say What: Lotto Winner Blows Through $10.5 Million, Rides Bus to Work! [Details]

Rucuss staffMarch 22, 2013

Lotto winner Sharon Tirabassi may have won $10.5 million nine years ago, but these days she struggles to make ends meet.

Tirabassi rides the bus to work and lives from paycheck to paycheck. The 35-year old Canadian joins a laundry list of lotto winners who have squandered their fortunes away. Blame her generosity and foolish spending for her demise.

After cashing in a Powerball ticket and collecting $10,569,000.10 nine years ago, Tirabassi and her then-boyfriend Vinny shared the wealth with family and close friends. She gave her parents $1 million cash and divided another $1.75 million among her siblings. She took friends to She took friends on all-expenses paid trips to Cancun, Florida, Las Vegas, California and the Caribbean.

Tirabassi married Vinny in 2004 and they bought a home together for $515,000. They bought four cars that included a bright yellow Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger and a $200,000 customized Cadillac Escalade. Her license plate on the Escalade that had interior turntables and sound mixers read: “BABIPHAT,” after Kimora Lee’s now-defunct clothing line.

Sharon Tirabassi penniless millionaire

Tirabassi said she spent frishly, only looking at her bank account balance occasionally.

“You don’t think it’ll go (at the time), right?” Tirabassi told “Then one day she checked her bank account and the money was almost gone. And that was time for fun to stop and to just go back to life.”

Sharon Tirabassi penniless millionaire

Tirabassi bought several houses, renting them out at affordable rates to families. She said she paid people’s rent and lent money to help out a friend when her husband went to jail. She also helped two other friends start up a business in Toronto.

Money that’s left of her winnings is locked in a mandatory trust fund for her children, which they will receive when they turn 26.

Tirabassi, who now rents a house, is employed as a part-time personal support worker and she provides for her husband’s three kids and her three kids from a previous relationship and three kids together that make nine children. She admits that even though she’s broke, she’s happier today than she was when she was a millionaire.

“Money is the root of all evil,” Tirabassi said.

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