Brainfood: How She Made Her Pile - Ruth Parasol, Founder, Partygaming

Who is she? The 38-year-old founder of online gambling group Partygaming.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

She and her husband, who operate out of Gibraltar, have a combined fortune of more than £2 billion. San Francisco-born Parasol might face a summons if she returned to the US - where online gambling is illegal.

How did she make her millions? At 12, Parasol was helping her father do the taxes for his massage parlour and sex-line businesses. She used the experience to create the net's first adult websites, before litigation threats forced her out of porn. She set up her first online gambling venture, Starluck Casino, in 1998. The Partygaming group floated last June, valued at $8.5 billion.

The secret of her success? A law graduate, Parasol combines a shrewd eye for technology trends and an instinct for grey-market opportunities - profiting from legally risky areas before the law catches up. Several online businesses she advised were found guilty of fraud scams but Ruthie Ruthless has remained beyond reproach.

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