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5 greatest movies featuring a lottery win

Editorial / OpinionEditorial / Opinion: 5 greatest movies featuring a lottery win
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Be honest: every time you play the lottery, the same fantasy runs through your head, of you sitting in a bath full of champagne, wearing a top hat and monocle, and throwing wads of cash into the air gleefully. Before you've even left the shop, you've spent half the money that you're almost definitely destined to win, no matter what the actual odds.

Feeding this fantasy is the many, many movies that have involved lottery wins, and the results for the winners. They are invariably everyman characters, just like you, who need an escape from the mediocrity of mundane life, and who see their universe changed entirely by the huge injection of cash brought when the right numbers come in.

Now more than ever, the experience of buying a ticket is even easier, so that dream can be fed without even needing to go to the shop, and the opportunity to win even bigger pots has been increased by the appearance and popularity of the Euro Millions lottery — a nine country lottery that runs throughout Europe every Friday, with jackpots that make the normal lottery wins look like pocket change. Naturally, you can also buy your tickets online and it's easy to find out the EuroMillions results online too.

If you're yet to taste the irresistible thrill of a lottery win (above $10) you can still live vicariously through the experiences of film characters — both good and bad — thanks to the movies that feature lottery wins. Some films are cautionary morality tales, that warn about the dangers of getting what you want, and some are simply committed to making everyone jealous of the winners.

So with that in mind, we've put together the 5 greatest movies featuring a win on the lottery...

5. Lucky Numbers (2000)

Harrisburg PA's weatherman, Russ Richards (John Travolta) is down on his luck, after investing in a snowmobile company that is struggling thanks to the unseasonably warm weather. After getting in more debt after a scam goes wrong, he is convinced to rig the lottery, which leads to a trail of murder and double-crossing. With a great cast, and directed by the late great Nora Ephron, this is an underrated pleasure.

4. Lottery Ticket (2010)

Kevin Carson (rapper Bow Wow) lives in the projects, and is forced to survive a three-day weekend after his neighbors find out he has a winning lottery ticket, worth a massive jackpot of $370 million.

3. Lucky (2011)

In the same year that he played Dexter's nemesis Travis Marshall, Colin Hanks played another serial killer, this time in a dark comedy, which sees him kill a young woman and steal her winning lottery ticket. His long term crush Lucy suddenly notices him when he wins the $36 million jackpot, and the pair marry, but Lucy discovers his secret, and has to gamble on whether she should run away, or stay for the money.

2. Waking Ned (1998)

Jackie and Michael live in a small Irish village and discover that their friend Ned has died of shock when he's realized he won the lottery. As Ned doesn't have a family, the pair comes up with a plan of how they can claim the ticket, but the plot thickens when the lottery claim inspector arrives on their doorstep in person!

1. It Could Happen to You (1994)

The perfect combination of love story, moral high ground and the idea of fate taking a hand in people's lives. Nicholas Cage plays the role of Charlie Lang, a hard-working New York cop who doesn't have change to leave a tip for his coffee. Instead he offers to split the winnings with the waitress (Bridget Fonda) who served him. When he — inevitably — wins, his social climber wife Muriel (Rosie Perez) tries to do all she can to persuade him not to honor his promise. Of course, Charlie does the right thing and ends up falling in love with the waitress, but being sued for divorce by his wife.

It's impossible to know how you'd actually react to winning a million or more, but it's worth buying a ticket to be in with a chance to find out!

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30 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by billionaire2bee.
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haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
United States
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June 29, 2011
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Posted: October 9, 2013, 2:32 pm - IP Logged

The fantasy that runs through my head is, quitting my job.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

    Lynn-Lynn's avatar - yocco
    Kansas city Mo
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    Posted: October 9, 2013, 3:26 pm - IP Logged

    Well you don't need to watch any movie .Just set back and.watch the news

      mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
      Texas Panhandle
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      Posted: October 9, 2013, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

      I saw Waking Ned (Waking Ned Devine here in the U.S.) quite a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but had to turn on the caption feature to understand the Irish accents.

        noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
        Bay Area - California
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        Posted: October 9, 2013, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

        I saw Waking Ned (Waking Ned Devine here in the U.S.) quite a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but had to turn on the caption feature to understand the Irish accents.

        Accents aside- Waking Ned Devine is hands down the winner here. For one Everyone who knew Ned got a piece of the pie, even the Priest.
        Two : That Old woman in the motorized wheelchair who wanted to turn Jackie & company in so that she could be the sole winner of the reward and thus denying the Townsfolk of the win, her demise was classic, along with the guitar string hanging in there until it snapped right on cue....Precious !!

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
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          Posted: October 9, 2013, 4:23 pm - IP Logged

          Actually, my favorite "movie" that includes a lottery win is not a movie at all — it's a TV show:  LOST.  Go Hurley!

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            CajunWin4's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg
            Whiskey Island
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            April 24, 2010
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            Posted: October 9, 2013, 4:23 pm - IP Logged

            " 29th Street " should have been listed .

              mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
              Texas Panhandle
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              Posted: October 9, 2013, 4:52 pm - IP Logged

              Accents aside- Waking Ned Devine is hands down the winner here. For one Everyone who knew Ned got a piece of the pie, even the Priest.
              Two : That Old woman in the motorized wheelchair who wanted to turn Jackie & company in so that she could be the sole winner of the reward and thus denying the Townsfolk of the win, her demise was classic, along with the guitar string hanging in there until it snapped right on cue....Precious !!

              I haven't seen all six of these movies, but Ned Devine is my favorite of those I have seen.  I found several places to watch it online and think I'll do just that in a day or two. (because I don't remember much except f/ the basic plot and the accents)    I watched a LOT of movies around that time I saw it;  I had gone back to school and didn't have a lot of money in my budget for entertainment.  Thanks to several video store gift certificates I got for that Christmas, I had some cheap entertainment b/c of the store's .25 cent rentals for the older releases.

                KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
                Florence, Alabama
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                Posted: October 9, 2013, 6:30 pm - IP Logged

                I was hoping "All About the Benjamin's" would've made the list but it wasn't about Lottery. It just had a lottery win in it.

                I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

                  Erzulieredeyes's avatar - spider miss.png
                  Painesville, Ohio
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                  October 12, 2011
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                  Posted: October 9, 2013, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                  The fantasy that runs through my head is, quitting my job.

                  I'm with you on this one!

                  First thing that comes to mind is quitting my job, if I ever win any large jackpot.

                  Second thing I'll do is opt out of Obamacare, because I just got my qoute yesterday and now I am looking at paying $975 per month!!! WTF?? I don't even have insurance now, how the heck can I afford this on a Nurse's income?  That is more than my **** mortgage & car payment.

                    noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                    Bay Area - California
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                    Posted: October 9, 2013, 6:53 pm - IP Logged

                    I haven't seen all six of these movies, but Ned Devine is my favorite of those I have seen.  I found several places to watch it online and think I'll do just that in a day or two. (because I don't remember much except f/ the basic plot and the accents)    I watched a LOT of movies around that time I saw it;  I had gone back to school and didn't have a lot of money in my budget for entertainment.  Thanks to several video store gift certificates I got for that Christmas, I had some cheap entertainment b/c of the store's .25 cent rentals for the older releases.

                    You have good movie  taste,  even if I have to say so myself. Lol.
                    Todd's choice just did not do it for me. After the plane crashed l got " lost" perhaps l should have given the show more time to grow on me, but then l got into " House M.D" until it lost it's way.

                      Erzulieredeyes's avatar - spider miss.png
                      Painesville, Ohio
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                      Posted: October 9, 2013, 6:58 pm - IP Logged

                      Movie Number 2 will probably be me...lol ( Die of shock)

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                        Burnsville, MN
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                        Posted: October 9, 2013, 7:44 pm - IP Logged

                        Must agree with a couple previous posters, Waking Ned (Devine, here statesside) was an awesome and hilarious movie. Sometimes the accents can be a bit tough to get through, but I've owned that movie for years on DVD and pop it in every so often for some good laughs. Saw it when I was a teenager and still enjoy it over a decade later!

                          Erzulieredeyes's avatar - spider miss.png
                          Painesville, Ohio
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                          Posted: October 9, 2013, 7:56 pm - IP Logged

                          What about the movie Beverly Hood? It's about a poor southern black family from the south that won the lottery and moved to Beverly Hills.

                            duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                            Jacksonville Florida
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                            Posted: October 9, 2013, 8:12 pm - IP Logged

                            Actually, my favorite "movie" that includes a lottery win is not a movie at all — it's a TV show:  LOST.  Go Hurley!

                            Speaking of TV shows and the lottery, we can't forget two Monk episodes:

                            "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever" - rigged lotto machine
                            "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy" - Monk's neighbor wins the lottery