Inside drug-fuelled downfall of $22m lottery winner Joshua Winslet

Most people dream of winning $ 22 million in the lottery, but the dream turned out to be a nightmare for Joshua John Winslet.

Instead of being a life-changing perk, the 27-year-old’s multimillion-dollar lottery win accelerated his descent into a hedonistic lifestyle of drugs and parties.

The Adelaide man faced the Adelaide District Court on Aug.27 after pleading guilty to two counts of supplying MDMA, possession of an unidentified unlicensed firearm, possession of unlicensed ammunition, and failure to hold the firearm or ammunition in safety as required.

Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconJoshua Winslet framed his Powerball winning ad. Courts SA Credit: Provided

Police arrived at his New Port home on August 30, 2020, after being informed that drugs were being manufactured there.

The agents discovered 2.27 g of cocaine on Winslet before discovering 23.9 g of MDMA in a safe in a bedroom and another 4.4 g on a shelf in a closet.

Police also found a Mauser pistol and ammunition hidden in a bathroom drain.

Judge Heath Barklay said Winslet’s troubles began when he won the lottery and fell into a lazy, “hedonistic” lifestyle.

Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconInside the party of $ 22 million Powerball winner Joshua Winslet. Courts SA Credit: Provided
Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconPeople could go wild inside. the House. Courts SA Credit: Provided

“In August 2020, you were hopelessly addicted, living a life without purpose, using drugs and dating the wrong people,” he said.

After Winslet won nearly $ 22.3 million in 2017, the court heard he quit working as a plumber and started using drugs regularly.

“Because of the money you made, there was no motivation on your part to work or do anything other than have fun,” Judge Barklay said.

“You had a lot of money, so you could afford to buy large quantities of medicine, which you would use yourself and occasionally provide to your so-called friends.”

Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconWinslet allegedly provided drugs to his “so-called friends”. Courts SA Credit: Provided
Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconA weapon was hidden in the bathroom. Courts SA Credit: Provided

Winslet’s generosity meant that many saw him as a “free passenger,” the court was told. He supplied drugs to the mob of “undesirable people” around and allowed them to “escape” into his house.

“One of your so-called friends brought the gun and ammunition to your house and stored it in your roof,” said Judge Barklay.

“The gun was in your house where people took drugs and kept going. This increased the likelihood that the firearm would at least be used by others for illegal purposes.

The court was told that Winslet had “a wake up call” when he realized he was facing jail time for all seven crimes.

Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconWinslet was considered a “free ride”. Courts SA Credit: Provided
Editorial provided Inside the party house of Powerball winner Joshua Winslet.  Photo: Courts SA
Camera iconThe “undesirables” roamed his house. Courts SA Credit: Provided

He sought treatment for his drug addiction and was admitted to an interstate drug rehabilitation center, where he had planned to return after his sentence.

Judge Barklay sentenced Winslet to three years and nine months in prison, which he later suspended in favor of a two-year bond of good conduct.

If the 27-year-old broke his bail, the court would be told he could go back to prison to serve the entire sentence.

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