Gerald Muswagon, 42, is the archetypal tragic lottery winning figure after claiming $10 million on the Super 7 jackpot in 1998.
Gerald experienced the high of becoming a multi-millionaire after winning the jackpot when he bought a ticket for just $2. It was a fairytale story for the man from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.
In 1998, Gerald had the world at his feet after collecting the bumper jackpot win. It seemed as if life had given him a blessing and he was never going to have to worry about finances again during his lifetime. However, things did not go to plan in the years that followed.
Gerald soon became the subject of local jokes over the ludicrous attitude he adopted for spending his new found wealth. Immediately after his win he went on a spending spree that saw him buy new cars for his family and friends. He bought a new house that he promptly turned into a self-proclaimed “party pad” and it was also alleged that he bought eight brand new big screen TVs for friends in a 24 hour shopping stint.
His cousin Mike Muswagon said “He didn’t have the right people around him at the time, people who could have guided him. A lot of people asked a lot of him.”
Gerald’s “party pad” ensured that he soon became exposed to a lifestyle that involved copious levels of alcohol and drug abuse. He also started up his own business called Gerald’s Logging. The firm focused on chopping down trees in the Norway House area of Manitoba but the business was soon failing as sales were low and profits plummeted.
RUN IN’S WITH THE LAW
Gerald was also involved in a series of run-ins with the law. In October 2000, Gerald was sentenced to three months in jail when he pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving after he had led an epic police chase whilst driving his brand new Chevy Silverado at speeds that reached an estimated 111 miles per hour.
Criminal activity did not stop there for Gerald. In November 2002, he was alleged to have consistently sexually assaulted a 19 year old girl that he had asked to help clean his house after the shocking death of his wife, Virginia, only a month earlier. This indecent sexual behaviour continued into the year he died when he spent another three months in jail after pleading guilty to sexual assault.
Gerald’s lawyer, Tim Valgardson, blamed Gerald’s upbringing in the quiet Norway House area for his criminal record that dated back to 1981 with several counts of drunk driving, assault and theft.
Valgardson said “Unfortunately, he had a very difficult time adjusting, coming from Norway House with very little education.”
This difficulty that Gerald experienced was considered to be a major factor for his suicide in 2005. After spending almost every penny of his fortune, Gerald was forced back into work. He got a job doing heavy lifting on minimum wage just to support his girlfriend and six children. Similar to the story of Michael Carrol in
On Sunday 2nd October, 2005, Gerald Muswagon hanged himself in his parents’ garage in what was to be the climax of one of the most tragic lottery winning tales ever told.
Filed Under: Winners, Losers & Amazing Stories