It's pretty obvious that winning the lottery would have a great capacity to change your life, though not always for the better.
So imagine what it was life for New Yorker John Falcon who six years ago won $45 million when his lucky numbers came up.
From living in a modest tenement apartment he now lives in the Trump Tower, and after years trying to build a career as a singer and actor, he can now afford to hire his own theaters.
What's more, a movie of his lottery winning life — another self-funded project — has been screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
One of the first things Falcon bought was a a new smile.
"Dentistry is very expensive in America. And so the first thing I did was invest, you know, a Maserati in my mouth," he said.
"So far it's been about $175,000. I have cow bone here. To this day when I pass a cow I feel a little well in my heart."
Falcon has good reason to be cheesy. Six years ago this gay Puerto Rican performance artist was finding fame rather hard to come by.
"There was no sun, I tell you. There was just darkness, clouds, rain, constant snow. I was working. It was very Dickensian, I was like Oliver Twist," he said.
But all that changed when his numbers came up.
On October 30 Falcon won a $45 million New York Lotto jackpot. He was New York's single largest winner ever, and perhaps a little wary.
"I'm not stupid, so no-one can take advantage of me that I don't allow to take advantage of me. I'm always a little skeptical about everyone and about everything and plus I have financial advisers who just tell me, "Don't make a move until you've spoken to me", and I don't," he said.
"There is nothing on the ticket that tells you what your next step is. So, do you know what I mean? I didn't know what to do. Do I go back to the bodega where I bought it and ask for my $45 million? I mean, what do I do?"
He was dubbed 'Mr Lucky' and after years craving the limelight, not only had he found it, he now had the wherewithal to buy it. Today Falcon travels the world and spends much of his time at film festivals, where the story of his lucky, life-changing numbers has become a film, albeit a self-funded one.
Documentary director Ira Rosenwig worked with Falcon on the film.
"It was an incredible working experience because while he did fund the film, we had a contract saying I had complete creative control, and I can't think of really one time throughout the whole process where he demanded anything taken out," he said.
The film explores John Falcon's life through one man's show — a short Puerto Rican guy sings songs of angst and also examines what happens when a poor man becomes $45 million richer.
"Everyone needed some sort of salary. But, you know, 'no' became a very easy word to say. In fact, there's like a little lottery association in America with all their lottery winners and my advice to all of them is to just say 'no' until you can get used to your money," he said.
There were big purchases of course — an apartment in the Trump Tower and a significant and growing art collection, but Falcon assiduously avoided the hundreds of once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunities he was offered. And what's more, he was smart enough to take his money over 26 years and not as a lump sum.
"Again, I'm saying there's that little lottery association in America. There's was this one guy, this is like - he won $10 million and he decided what he wanted to be was a cocaine kingpin. So he went out and he bought $10 million worth of cocaine. He's in jail now," he said.
What is interesting about people like Falcon is he can perhaps answer with some certainty the questions the rest of us just speculate upon.
"If you're asking me does money buy happiness... the answer to that would be yes, it does. Everything else is emotional, philosophical nonsense," he said.
What fabulous wealth has also bought John Falcon is complacency. Music was once his driving force, but now he admits the easy life has rather dulled the creative urge.
"Let's see, do I stay at home and study intensive voice, do vocal eases intensely for three months, or do I go to Rome and buy shoes? You know, it's hard. It's a hard decision, but I always pick the shoes," he said.
Ahead for John Falcon, another 21 years of great big checks and amazingly, even more dental work. It's hard to tell whether money has really bought him happiness, but at the very least it's enabled him to rent it.