On Financial Illiteracy: How a Woman Won the $10 Million Dollar Lottery and Now Rides the Bus to Work
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
Sharon Tirabassi was living the dream. She won the $10.5 million dollar lottery in her home country of Canada, earning her a consistent residence on cloud nine. All the things that she’d always wanted were wide open to her: Expensive cars, fancy houses, designer clothes and expensive vacations. Her financial freedom was right in front of her eyes, and it was time to live the lifestyle she’d always deserved.
But years later, Sharon rides the bus to work. When she doesn’t feel like riding the bus, she rides her bike. She’s not doing it for exercise. Instead, it’s because she can’t afford to fix the car that sits in the family’s driveway. All the relatives who were quick to borrow money from her when she won the lottery are nowhere to be found. She’s now finding herself getting reaccustomed to the lifestyle to which she’d become accustomed so many years ago. The fall has not been easy.
I feel bad for Sharon, the same way I feel bad for every NBA or NFL athlete who goes through the same experience. They say that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. But this isn’t true when it comes to money: It’s usually better to have never had the money in the first place than to have it and see it all slip between your fingers.