If Money Can't Buy Happiness, Can Winning the Lottery Come Close?

DVD - 2011
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A look at the lottery system in the United States and how it changed the lives of a few average people, from a Vietnamese refugee to an outcast living with numerous cats in a run-down home.
Publisher: [United States] : Docuramafilms, 2011
ISBN: 9781422916629
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (82 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 31, 2014

Even though the odds of winning a big lottery jackpot are tens of millions to one it doesn’t stop Americans from spending close to sixty-four billion dollars on tickets every year. Filled with interesting facts and figures, Jeffrey Blitz’s documentary introduces us to six people who beat the odds with very different consequences. At one extreme there’s the grizzled piece of white trash who blew sixteen million dollars in a wild spending orgy (his family even tried to hire a professional hitman to knock him off before he spent every last cent) and now lives in the back of a gas station. At the other end we meet a Vietnamese couple, former refugees, who used their twenty-two million dollar win to build an entire cul-de-sac of homes for themselves and their children, a small mansion in Vietnam for their relatives, and several small businesses for everyone so they can all earn a better living. For comparison Blitz interviews a lottery junkie who has never won big in 30 years of playing despite spending hundreds of dollars a week on tickets and practicing her own peculiar form of urban voodoo (she sees signs and omens everywhere). Not surprisingly we discover that the dream of winning a huge cheque has its own nightmare aspects as jealous friends turn on you, strangers accost you for handouts and all the small things that once shaped your identity, like a job and mortgage payments, become superfluous. As one interviewee observes, “Winning a lottery is like pouring Miracle-Gro on your character defects.” The success stories are enviable, the nutcases are infuriating, and some of the anecdotes are eye-popping. And yes, I’ve got my 649 ticket right here...

debra_759 Dec 21, 2011

I enjoyed this movie - it gave an interesting look into wht money can & cannot do for you, depending on your lot in life. Its overwhelming for some & a blessing for others. I'd like to think if I ever won a large sum of money, I'd make the right choices with it & not allow it to distroy me.

Jul 25, 2011

This was a really interesting look at how different people handle winning the lottery - from those who keep it together all the way down to the ones whose lives fall apart from the pressures that much money brings.


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