A woman admits ruining her life after she lost her home and family when she wasted £250,000 – on FRUIT MACHINES.
Addict Tara Mooney spent up to 12-hours a day putting every penny she earned as a bus driver into the gambling machines.
Tara, originally from High Wycombe, Bucks., has finally managed to kick her decade-long habit – after already losing her home and three children – when she was sacked for missing shifts.
She said: “It was dreadful. I spent all my wages on those machines, and I did it for ten years.
“When you add it all up it comes to about £250,000, I think. It’s ridiculous when you think of it, but I was in the grip of a fierce addiction.”
The bus driver, who was paid weekly, started playing fruit machines as a way to pass time between shifts but quickly became hooked – and ended up wasting her entire £500 after-tax wages.
When she wasn’t gambling on fruit machines at work, or in her local pub, Tara even took to playing online slot machines in a bid to feed her addiction.
She said: “There was one in the canteen at work, so I would just put a couple of quid in.
“But that was never enough and it quickly snowballed into a full-blown addiction. It was all I could think about.
“I’d have good days, where I won money, but it all went back into the machines.
“Every penny I had went on those damned things.
“I was so hooked that if I pulled over at a motorway service station, I would end up playing the machines there for hours – it tore my family apart.”
The mum-of-three now lives with her son Alfie 26 who hates his mum’s gambling problem, but has now forgiven her.
Her two other sons Gary, 24, and 21-year-old Daniel live in Peterborough who decided to live there after Tara’s marriage broke down – due to the machines.
Tara, who now lives in Frome, Somerset, was so out of control with her habit she got behind on her mortgage and lost her dream house.
“I was hooked – all I could think about was putting more money down the slots.”
“My husband at the time realised I had a problem, but he was so stuck working to pay for everything else in our life that he couldn’t help me.
“He couldn’t keep up with the bills and we rowed and he left.
“Sadly, I’m not surprised – I realise now what a selfish person I was and I know I’ve ruined my life.
“I wish I could take it all back – I must have spent about £250,000 on those things.”
Tara has finally managed to kick her habit and get her life back on track – but feeds her gambling addiction by doing the lottery every week.
She said: “I feel guilty about what I did, but these things are so addictive, it took over my life.
“Getting sacked was the best thing that happened to me it meant I couldn’t gamble.
“I don’t gamble any more, apart from playing the lottery.”