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Hamilton lottery winner fritters away $10 million | Toronto Star

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Tirabassi is happier today, she says, adding life has more purpose now than when she was shopping. She works part-time as a personal support worker and is raising her six kids in a rented house in downtown Hamilton. Her husband, Vinny, 35, has another three kids from a previous relationship. More from thestar.com: How to avoid sharks in office lottery pool Asked about how life turned out for them, Vinny shrugs, smoking a cigarette in the doorway of their home. I lived like this my whole life, I never was rich, he says. We grew up like this, so were used to it. Pretty much all thats left now is in trust for Tirabassis kids when they turn 26. The moment I got it, I divided it among my family, she says. All of that other stuff was fun in the beginning, now its like . . . back to life. Before her win, Tirabassi had been living in an east Hamilton apartment with her three kids at the time, each from a different father. She was Sharon Mentore then, not yet married. She had just landed a job as a personal care provider, fresh off welfare, and couldnt afford a car. But on Easter weekend in April 2004, she hit the jackpot, winning $10.5 million from a Super 7 ticket. More from thestar.com: For someone who spent her teen years bouncing from shelter to shelter, Tirabassi was unprepared for the millionaire lifestyle. That cheque might as well have been a money tree in the yard it felt like cash for life. Suddenly, life was but a dream. She took friends on wild, all-expenses-paid trips to Cancun, Florida, Las Vegas, California, the Caribbean. She bought a house, and married Vinny. They eventually had three children. In 2006, the newlyweds and blended Tirabassi family moved to a massive $515,000 home in Ancaster. Despite the lottery win, Tirabassi took out a $360,000 mortgage on the house. Vinny says they owned four vehicles: a bright yellow Hummer, a Mustang, a Dodge Charger and a $200,000-plus, souped-up Cadillac Escalade, Tirabassis baby.
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