If you were to win the lottery, how would you spend your money? It’s a question that many of us have probably asked ourselves at some point.
WINNING the lottery can change someone’s life in an instant but it takes more than just a lucky draw to hold on to a massive fortune.
Sharon Tirabassi, a lottery winner from Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada, had it all. She won a massive $10 million (about R183m) in the Lotto Super 7 in 2004. She went on a spending spree that included a huge house, fancy cars, designer clothes and lavish trips.
However, in just 10 years, she lost it all and has to work again.
Tirabassi’s story is a cautionary tale for anyone who wins the lottery and thinks the money will last forever.
It takes discipline, planning and a lot of willpower to keep a fortune intact.
But as the saying goes, easy come, easy go.
Before we judge Tirabassi too harshly. I would think it’s not easy to handle such a massive amount of money, especially when you’ve never had it before.
According to a post by The Mirror, Tirabassi and her husband spent the money on a huge house, fancy cars, designer clothes, lavish parties, expensive trips and loans to family and friends.
She even took her friends on all-expenses-paid trips to Florida, Las Vegas, California, and the Caribbean. It’s reported Tirabassi also used the money to help pay her neighbours rent and a friend launch a business.
They generously gave her parents $1m and split $1.75m between her four siblings. According to the Mirror, the pair also purchased four vehicles – a yellow Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger and a Cadillac Escalade.
In addition, the pair bought several homes in Hamilton and rented them out to families on low-incomes.
One day, she realised there was just $750,000 left in her bank account.
She admitted: “And that was time for the fun to stop and to just go back to life.”
We can’t blame Tirabassi for wanting to live her best life but maybe she could have invested some of that money instead of spending it all?
Her story is something most Mzansi viewers may know too well. Ah, the South African reality show “I Blew It”.
The show is all about people who won big and then lost it all due to their extravagant spending habits. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
Some of my favourite highlights from the show is Bongani Mabuza, who won R25m.
Mabuza knew exactly how to spend his money and was determined to live like a king.
He bought a massive mansion, hired a butler and built a personal bowling alley in his basement. He also invested in his own record label and signed a few rappers, hoping to make even more money.
But, as fate had it, Mabuza’s investments never paid off. He was soon left with just the mansion and butler. The butler eventually quit and exposed his lavish spending habits.
These days, Bongani is working as a car wash attendant, trying his best to make ends meet.
And such is the story of Thuli Radebe, who won R10m in the lottery. Radebe quickly started splurging on designer clothes, expensive holidays and private jets. She lent large sums of money to her friends but they never paid her back.
Sadly, before she knew it, Radebe’s fortune was gone, and circumstances forced her to sell her luxurious mansion and move back in with her parents.
Now, Radebe is working as a receptionist at a gym, counting the days until she can buy a lottery ticket again.
Although Tirabassi rents a house in Hamilton with her husband and six children and has applied for a part-time job to help pay the rent, she admits she is much happier working as a personal support worker.