You’re not human if you have never fantasised about winning the lottery. Suddenly your life gets flipped upside down, you can quit your job, buy yourself a Lamborghini and a holiday home in the Maldives (or, in my case, some beachfront property in San Diego).

So it is unsurprising that Hollywood has tried to saturate this fantasy, with lottery winning movies nearly being a genre in itself. Below are our top five lottery based films.


5. Lotto Land (1995)

Not to be confused with Lottoland, Lotto Land is an independent film set against the backdrop of Brooklyn. The story revolves around an upcoming $27million jackpot lottery which everyone in the neighbourhood is hoping to win. This impoverished area goes wild with lottery fever, many buy a considerable amount of tickets while some even end up in jail. The interwoven film ends with the lottery draw, the winning ticket to which is stated by the authorities to have been bought in the neighbourhood.


4. Lucky Numbers (2000)

Based on the 1980 Pennsylvania lottery scandal, this star-studded comedy seemingly went under the radar. Russ Richards (John Travolta) heavily invests in a snowmobile company that is struggling considerably due to freakish warm weather. To solve his financial woe he is convinced to rig the lottery – murder and double-crossing soon ensue. Directed by Sleepless in Seattle’s Nora Ephron, Lucky Numbers is a lot more enjoyable than the critics make out.




4. Lottery Ticket (2010)

This high-octane caper features an array of hip-hop artists, most notably Bow Wow as the lead character Kevin Carson, and support coming in the form of Ice Cube. Carson, who lives in the projects, has to survive the 4th of July weekend after his not-too-good neighbours discover that he is in possession of a lottery ticket worth $370million.


2. Waking Ned (1998)

This Irish film follows Jackie and Michael, who upon hearing someone has won the lottery in their sparsely populated village go to great lengths to befriend this newfound millionaire. They eventually track it down to the reclusive Ned, who has died from shock upon discovering he has won the lotto. From here the plot thickens as the duo try to work out how they can claim the tickets for themselves. The film was received very well by film critics.




1. It Could Happen to You (1994)

A romantic comedy starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. The basic premise is that cop Charlie Lang (Cage) meets a downtrodden waitress Yvonne (Fonda) whose husband has emptied their bank accounts. Lang does not have any money to tip Yvonne for his coffee so instead offers her half of his winnings from the upcoming lottery draw, which she agrees to. Lang wins $4million. The story then goes into the realm of romance with Lang eventually leaving his social climber wife, who takes him to court for all of the his lottery winnings, and eventually marries Yvonne.

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