Saturday December 22, 2012 AT 10:00 PM ET/PT on CBC News Network
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Is it luck or fate that causes some to hit the jackpot and others to spend a lifetime trying? What makes people certain that they’ll beat the extraordinary odds? Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but what happens when someone actually does? And how do winners overcome a different set of odds - those that say most will be unable to deal with the instant, dramatic changes in their lives?
LUCKY takes an entertaining and candid look at the seduction of the lottery and what hitting the jackpot does to the winners. Veteran director Jeffrey Blitz (SPELLBOUND and 2007 Sundance Film Festival Director Awardwinner for ROCKET SCIENCE) crisscrosses the country following winners as they navigate their newfound riches, and hopefuls who have “a dollar and a dream.”
The cast of characters includes Quang and his wife, Mai, Vietnamese immigrants working the graveyard shift in a Nebraska meatpacking plant who reinvent their lives when they win $22 million dollars; James, a destitute, suicidal loner who divvies his last $3 between food for his cats and a Powerball ticket--and wins over $5 million; Kristine and Steve, a middle class New Jersey couple who, after winning $110 million, are sent 12,000 pieces of mail from strangers around the world begging for money; Robert, a Berkeley mathematician who understands better than most the near impossibility of winning and yet still hits a $22 million jackpot; and Buddy, considered a hero after running into a burning building to save a boy’s life, who seems to be repaid for his bravery with a $16 million win -- until his life comes apart at the seams. But the reality of these winners' stories mean nothing to Verna, an obsessive player from Delaware who spends up to a $100 a day on the lottery and still, after 30 years, firmly believes that she’ll one day land the big win.
Winners’ lives are turned upside down as they are forced to grapple with their new role in the world. It’s a chance to realize their dreams, to make a difference. But life also becomes complicated as they travel through a haze of attorneys, hired security guards, changing friendships, scheming family members and prying strangers. And those are just the pressures on the outside. How an unearned but thoroughly life-changing event forces them to reconsider who they really are and what they truly want from life may be the biggest challenge of all. In the end, is the payout a nightmare, blessing or some rich mix of the two? LUCKY is revealing, engaging, and will shed some light as you weigh your future deciding whether or not to buy a ticket.