Best 5 movies about winning the lottery

Monika Suneja

Lotteries have a way of captivating our imaginations. Finding the winning Mega Millions numbers and the subsequent choices on how to use the winnings provide an intriguing movie storyline. To give you a taste of the lottery-winning experience, we’ve compiled a list of 5 great movies on this subject.

It Could Happen to You (1994)

“It Could Happen to You” is a romantic comedy-drama film released in 1994. The film was directed by Andrew Bergman and stars Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, and Rosie Perez in the lead roles.

The story is inspired by real-life events and revolves around a New York City police officer named Charlie Lang, played by Nicolas Cage. One day, he doesn’t have enough money to leave a tip at a diner, so he promises the waitress, Yvonne Biasi (played by Bridget Fonda), that he will split his lottery ticket winnings with her if he wins. To everyone’s surprise, they do win the lottery, and Charlie keeps his promise, splitting the jackpot with Yvonne.

The film explores the consequences of this unorthodox arrangement, as Charlie’s wife Muriel (played by Rosie Perez) becomes increasingly unhappy with their situation, and Yvonne and Charlie’s lives become intertwined. It’s a heart-warming and sometimes comical tale about love, integrity, and life’s unexpected turns.

“It Could Happen to You” received positive reviews from both critics and audiences for its charming and feel-good storyline, as well as the performances of the main cast. The film is known for its message of kindness and the idea that unexpected good fortune can change the course of one’s life.

Finder’s Fee (2001)

“Finder’s Fee” is a 2001 independent film that marked the directorial debut of actor Jeff Probst, best known as the host of the reality TV show “Survivor.” The film is a psychological thriller with a cast that includes Erik Palladino, Ryan Reynolds, and James Earl Jones.

The “Finder’s Fee” story revolves around a poker game among friends. The protagonist, Tepper (played by Erik Palladino), is a young man who finds a wallet containing a winning lottery ticket worth six million dollars. He decides to keep the ticket secret and plans to cash it in the following day. However, his plans are complicated when he attends a poker game with his friends, where the wallet’s owner, Avery Phillips (played by James Earl Jones), unknowingly participates. As the night unfolds, the tension and suspense increase as Tepper grapples with the moral dilemma of revealing the ticket’s existence.

Ryan Reynolds plays the role of Fish, one of Tepper’s friends who suspects that Tepper is hiding something and becomes increasingly suspicious as the night goes on. The film explores the consequences of one’s actions.

“Finder’s Fee” is a relatively low-budget independent film but received positive reviews for its intriguing plot and the performances of its cast. It was well-received in the festival circuit and is notable for being Jeff Probst’s directorial debut before gaining fame as the host of “Survivor.” The film provides a tense and thought-provoking exploration of ethical choices and their impact on the characters involved.

29th Street (1991)

“29th Street” is a 1991 comedy-drama film directed by George Gallo. The film is based on the true story of the first ever big lottery jackpot won in New York City. It stars Anthony LaPaglia and Danny Aiello in the lead roles.

The story is set in the 1970s and follows the life of Frank Pesce, Jr. (played by Anthony LaPaglia), a young man from a working-class Italian-American family living in the neighbourhood of 29th Street in New York City. Frank is a charismatic and somewhat down-on-his-luck individual who experiences a series of remarkable and often comical events in his life. He’s not particularly lucky in most aspects of his life, but things take a surprising turn when he wins the New York State Lottery.

The film explores how Frank’s life changes after winning the lottery and how he and his father, Frank Pesce, Sr. (played by Danny Aiello), deal with newfound wealth and fame. The story also delves into the complexities of their father-son relationship.

“29th Street” is a heart-warming and humorous film that blends comedy and drama elements. It was well-received for its engaging storytelling and the performances of the two lead actors. The film is known for portraying ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances and the challenges that come with sudden success.

If I Had a Million (1932)

“If I Had a Million” is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy-drama film that features an ensemble cast of top Hollywood stars from that era. The film is notable for its unique structure, in which it tells a series of loosely connected stories, each cantered around a different character who unexpectedly comes into possession of a million dollars.

The film was directed by Norman Taurog, Ernst Lubitsch, Norman Z. McLeod, Stephen Roberts, James Cruze, H. Bruce Humberstone, and William A. Seiter, each directing a segment of the film. The large ensemble cast includes notable actors like WC Fields, George Raft, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, May Robson, and many others.

The film’s premise is that a dying millionaire, John Glidden (played by Richard Bennett), decides to give a million dollars to eight different people, chosen randomly, as an experiment to see how the sudden wealth affects their lives.

Each segment of the film follows one of the eight recipients of the million dollars, showcasing their reactions, choices, and how their lives are changed by the unexpected windfall. The stories range from comedic to dramatic, reflecting various aspects of human nature and desire.

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

“Waking Ned Devine” is a 1998 Irish comedy film directed by Kirk Jones. The film is set in a small fictional Irish village named Tullymore. It is known for its charming and humorous portrayal of a close-knit community faced with a unique and unexpected situation.

The story centres around two elderly best friends, Michael O’Sullivan (played by David Kelly) and Jackie O’Shea (played by Ian Bannen), who discover that a lottery ticket has won the jackpot of nearly seven million pounds. Excited about their good fortune, they quickly realize that the winner is their fellow villager, Ned Devine, who has died of shock upon learning he had won.

To claim the lottery prize for themselves, Jackie and Michael hatch a plan to convince the lottery officials that Ned is still alive. The film follows their humorous and increasingly elaborate attempts to maintain the charade, involving the entire village in their scheme.

Waking Ned Devine” is celebrated for its quirky characters, dry humour, and warmth in portraying a close community. The film explores friendship, small-town life, and the allure of wealth, all while delivering a light-hearted and heart-warming tale. It received positive reviews from both critics and audiences and has become a beloved classic of Irish cinema.

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