Few would deny that it’s their dream to win the lottery, and many people frequently imagine what they would do if they were fortunate enough to stumble upon a mountain of wealth. A number of filmmakers have also explored the idea of characters coming into unimaginable sums of money. Here we take a look at some of the biggest lottery moments ever shown in film and see what inspiration can be drawn from them. After all, it’s always good to have more ideas about what to spend your winnings on if you ever do get lucky.
It Could Happen to You
Andrew Bergman’s 1994 romantic comedy It Could Happen to You is perhaps the best-known lottery film out there and features Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage alongside Bridget Fonda. In the movie, Cage’s character Charlie Lang manages to pick the winning lotto numbers which are 6, 12, 16, 27, 48, and 64. Lang comes across Fonda’s Yvonne Biasi in a diner and doesn’t have enough money to pay the tip. Instead, he agrees to share his lottery winnings with her if his numbers come in the next day. True to his word, Lang gives Biasi $2 million and she decides to buy the diner. The two protagonists go about giving charitable donations to the public with their winnings, such as paying for people’s train tickets and organizing fun days out for homeless children. Although they end up losing all the money to Lang’s spendthrift ex-wife, in the end, the two lovebirds realize that they are happy enough without the riches.
Waking Ned Devine is a quirky comedy from English writer and director Kirk Jones, who is known more recently for 2016’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The 1998 film takes place in a small Irish village with a population of only 52 people. The two main protagonists Jackie O’Shea and Michael O’Sullivan (played by Ian Bannen and David Kelly respectively) learn that one of the residents has won the lottery, they resolve to find the winner. It turns out that the man who came across the fortune was Ned Devine, and when the numbers were announced on TV he died from shock. The villagers then have to band together to convince a lottery inspector that Michael is the lottery winner Ned. Needless to say, this leads to a number of hilarious situations.
Welcome to Me
The most recent film on this list is 2014’s Welcome to Me, directed by Shira Piven. Kristen Wiig plays Alice Klieg, a single woman on disability benefits struggling with borderline personality disorder. She wins an astonishing $86 million on the California Stack Sweepstakes, and decides to use this newfound wealth to start her own talk show. The show grows in popularity, but unfortunately, Klieg ends up alienating friends and loved ones. The overriding message in all of these films is the fact that absolutely anyone could win the lottery, and various people have widely diverse ideas about what to do with the winnings. If it happened to you, what would you do differently?