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$10M jackpot winner's luck runs out

Ontario Lottery and Gaming CorporationOntario Lottery and Gaming Corporation: $10M jackpot winner's luck runs out

A multimillion-dollar lottery jackpot winner had a reversal of fortune yesterday when he was sent to jail for his part in a high-speed police chase.

Gerald Muswagon, 40, was convicted of dangerous driving yesterday for reaching speeds of 180 kmh while fleeing from police on residential streets in October 2000.

A single father of two, Muswagon had hoped to be handed a conditional sentence that would have allowed him to continue looking after his children.

His lawyer, Tim Valgardson, even invited sentencing Judge Heather Pullan to impose an absolute curfew on Muswagon for the maximum allowable time.

Pullan said she had no choice but to send Muswagon to jail, citing his "complete and utter disregard for the well-being of others."

"I can imagine the shock of winning the lottery and how that might have projected you off-balance for awhile," said Pullan, who cited his "disgraceful pattern of dangerous driving."

A former tree planter from Norway House, Muswagon found himself $10 million richer after matching the winning numbers in an October 1998 Super 7 draw.

Despite rumours to the contrary, Muswagon didn't blow all of his winnings, but he hasn't exactly led a charmed life in recent years, Valgardson said.

He sank a great deal of his money into a new home, a new truck and gifts for his friends, as well as four rental properties and a now-defunct logging business.

He also struggled with alcohol and was sent into a tailspin when his wife died unexpectedly in 2002.


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