Memorable Manitobans: Gerald Ronnie Muswagon (1963-2005)
Born at Norway House on 9 July 1963 to Louis and Matilda Muswagon, he moved to Winnipeg when he was 17, but retained his main passion, which was hunting. He married Virginia Marlene “Tiny” Genaille (1964-2002). As time went on, he developed a lengthy criminal record, which his family credits to a lack of education and community support, and the negative influence of those around him.
In 1998, after purchasing a $2 ticket for the Canadian Super 7 lottery, he won 10 million dollars and immediately launched into a spending spree, buying not only the luxuries he’d been unable to afford previously, such as expensive vehicles, a large house, and the latest electronics, but also showing his generosity buying similar things for his family and friends. He was also able to afford to plan lavish parties that included almost unlimited quantities of drugs and alcohol. Hoping to create a stabilizing element in his life, he used some of his winnings to establish a business called Gerald’s Logging, cutting lumber in northern Manitoba. The business failed, however. Within a few years of his big win, his fortune was used up, and he was forced to take on work that paid only minimum wage, not enough to care for a family of six children. In 2002, he was jailed for three months on a conviction of reckless driving. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault.
Having served initially as a local legend for having been able to emerge from poverty into wealth, he ended up as a cautionary tale in the world of lottery winnings, and on 2 October 2005, died by suicide at age 42. He was buried at Norway House.
Obituary [Virginia Marlene Muswagon], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 November 2002.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 October 2005.
“Lottery winner hangs self 7 years after collecting win” by Mike McIntyre, The Globe and Mail, 5 October 2005.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 31 May 2022