'Ellen' Show Vacation Winner Tragically Killed In Parachuting Accident
It was the trip of a lifetime, won on the Ellen show. Cherilyn McGraw was over the moon.
But no one could have dreamed that just a few months later, that dream trip to Australia would end in tragedy.
Cherilyn was choosen at random from the audience to play a goofy game called Stuff Your Down Underpants. She had recenty married Marine Sergeant Brandon McGraw, a veteran of the Afghan war. The trip would be an all-expense paid vacation for the hero and his young wife.
That Ellen episode aired in January, but the couple took off for Australia just last week. A photo was taken during a stopover in New York where they looked so happy.
Shortly after arriving in Australia, the couple decided to go on a skydiving adventure. It was something Brandon had done several times in the past, proudly sharing pictures of it online.
But this time, something went terribly wrong. Brandon's parachute collapsed and he crashed to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cherilyn posted the last pictures taken of Brandon on her Facebook page on board the plane, smiling as he was about to jump.
"My hero. My angel," she wrote. "These are truly such symbolic photos. He was happy and doing what he loved. It's amazing all that photos can capture in a moment's time. I love you more than anything in the world. You are the most amazing man."
The grieving widow is still in Australia today, making arrangements to bring her hero home. She could never have imagined that the magical TV moment would end with such sorrow.