Films featuring lottery winners

Admit it: you’ve fantasised about winning the lottery and have already mapped out how you’re going to spend your multi-million dollar windfall. Houses, cars, clothes, fancy vacations in snazzy hotels, it’s the dream to end all dreams.

Playing the lottery these days is easier than ever. No longer do you need to trek out to the local newsagent to buy your ticket, as you can invest in countless online lotteries and Keno games in the hope of landing the lucky numbers. We play to win, not just for the fun of it, and while the dream of having the perfect lottery ticket is buried beneath the seemingly insurmountable odds, nothing can stop you from a little hopeful planning and pretend spending.

Feeding into the fantasy of a lottery win are countless Hollywood flicks, films that play with our emotions and depict the highs and lows of becoming a millionaire (or billionaire) overnight. Some films are cautionary tales that warn us of the dangers of winning the lottery (like “friends” that suddenly come out of the woodwork), but there are also plenty are feel good stories as well.

So, feel like living the excitement of a lottery win (aside from actually winning it, of course)? Here are our five favourite lottery movies.

Lottery Ticket

Starring Bow Wow (remember him?) alongside a host of great cameos including Ice Cube and T-Pain, Lottery Ticket follows a young man and his dream to start his own sneaker company, only for his life to be turned upside down after winning a $370 million lottery jackpot. It’s buried in tired clichés, but it offers a worthwhile message about friendship and money.

It Could Happen To You

Inspired by a real-life incident, It Could Happen To You follows the story of a New York police officer who splits his lottery winnings with a waitress, much to the dismay of his wife. This feel-good film has plenty of laughs and some good all-round acting from Nicholas Cage (in an uncharacteristically placid performance) and Bridget Fonda.

Waking Ned Devine

This light-hearted film set in Ireland follows a small community’s battle to claim more than seven million pounds in lottery winnings. When Ned Devine, one of 52 inhabitants of the town, dies after winning the lottery, his friends conjure up a plan to trick the authorities and split the winnings 51 ways. It’s a great film with some hilarious moments, and plenty of charming performances as well.

Lucky Numbers

John Travolta stars as Russ Richards, a weather man down on his luck after investing in a snowmobile company during unseasonably warm weather. He plans to rig the lottery, leaving a trail of murders along the way. Lucky Number is a guilty pleasure with plenty of dark humour, and a rock-solid performance from Travolta.

29th Street

This surprisingly good mob film follows Frank Pesce Jr. (played by Australian actor Frank Lapaglia), the lucky son of an unlucky business man. While his dad labours away trying to make a living, Frank buys a lottery ticket and ends up as one of a select few with a chance to take out the jackpot. However, his dad owes the mob money, and Frank must choose between keeping his family safe, or walking away as a millionare.

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