The Most Famous Lottery TV Shows

What do Powerball, Lotto, and Mega Millions have in common? There are higher chances that you’re going to get hit by a meteorite than winning one. That puts things into perspective, right? Yet, you’re still going to check the lottery results in NY, Los Angeles, Chicago, or any other American city.

Why? Because there’s something in lotteries that makes us play them. After all, who wouldn’t like to turn a $2 lottery ticket into millions of dollars? That slight chance is something that fascinates all of us, and even Hollywood noticed that a long time ago.

Surprisingly, there are not so many lottery-themed movies or TV series. Sure, some acclaimed shows have episodes relating to the topic, but their number is still incredibly low. There’s one advantage of this fact, though. Making the list of the best lottery-themed shows’ and series’ episodes is much easier.

Friends – “The One With the Lottery

Being the most popular sitcom of the 90s (arguably the most popular sitcom of all time), Friends revolutionized the television by making millions of fans laugh at the adventures of the group of six friends living in NY. And with ten seasons, 236 episodes, it would be surprising if they didn’t have a lottery-themed one.

In the episode called “The One With the Lottery,” Joe, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, and Ross decide to play the lottery together. It all begins with Phoebe predicting she will win it thanks to her psychic skills.

She gets the whole gang excited, and as they’re all discussing how they’re going to spend the money, the conversation takes a (un)expected turn. But we’re not going to spoil it if you haven’t watched it.

The Office – “Lotto”

The Office brought so many hilarious and unforgettable moments that mentioning them in one article is impossible. And since the show tackles every topic known to humanity, it obviously has an episode related to winning the lottery.

This time it’s the warehouse members who get lucky, which leaves the former foreman Darryl depressed. The win results in the whole staff quitting their jobs, and making Jim, Dwight, Kevin, and Erin take care of deliveries. As you probably suspect, it doesn’t end well.

Fortunately for Darryl’s mood, the whole situation has an unfortunate outcome for warehouse guys, who lose their money because of the bad investment in… energy drinks for Japanese homosexuals.

The Simpsons – “Million Dollar Maybe”

We don’t have enough time to write how great The Simpsons are, so let’s get straight to the point. The episode starts with Homer getting a fortune cookie that claims he’ll have a lucky day. Of course, Simpson doesn’t believe it at first, but as the day goes on, he’s starting to realize that the cookie told him the truth.

Because of that, Homer decides to take the risk and play the lottery, even if it means he’ll miss the wedding he’d promised Marge to attend to. While driving maniacally to get to the reception on time, Homer gets into an accident.

He wakes up in the hospital, where he finds out his ticket is worth one million dollars! Now he has to decide whether he tells Marge the truth about missing the wedding or keep it under wraps. But again, we’re not going to spoil the outcome. Turn on The Simpsons and see for yourself.

M*A*S*H – “The Birthday Girls”

Since every show mentioned so far is an absolute classic, we have to end the list with another one. This time it’s the acclaimed comedy-drama M*A*S*H we’re going to talk about, and being more precise, the episode called “The Birthday Girls.”

The story in this one follows Klinger, who puts together a local lottery. Of course, it’s nowhere the size of Powerball or Mega Millions. Still, the whole company gets super excited. At the same time, Margaret gets to leave for Tokyo for a romantic weekend. Unfortunately, on her way to the airport, she gets into an accident.

What’s worse, it turns out that it’s her birthday, and when she realizes she won’t be able to make it to Tokyo, she gets extremely depressed. Fortunately, the whole episode ends up in a much lighter mood, with the Klinger’s lottery becoming the perfect replacement gift for Margaret.

Bottom Line

There’s something in lotteries that makes us excited about them. That’s why it’s quite surprising that the number of lottery-themed movies and TV shows is low. Moreover, there are even fewer films and series that show the hero who wins the lottery.

What does it show? That even Hollywood finds winning one as something completely unrealistic. Still, some TV shows tackle the topic in individual episodes. And as you can see, that list includes some absolute classics, like The Office or The Simpsons.

And let’s be honest, if people like Homer Simpson can become lottery winners, it’s no surprise that the chances are so low.


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