HBO Documentary ‘Lucky’ Explores the Lives of Lotto Winners
Despite the odds of winning the lottery (Approximately 1 in 195 million) many lucky lottery players have found themselves instant millionaires. All lottery players dream of that big win and wonder what it would be like to become instantly rich. A new documentary on HBO titled ‘Lucky’ takes a look at some lottery winners and their world. The documentary is the product of director Jeffrey Blitz who interviews several lo9tto winners whose world has been transformed by instant riches. Some winners were adept at handling money and others were not. One winner squandered all his winnings in a relatively short time. The 90 minute documentary explores what happens to several lottery winners.
Vietnamese immigrant Quang Dao who won one of the biggest jackpots in lottery history along with seven coworkers at a Lincoln Nebraska meat packing plant shows off the four McMansions he is building son that his children and grandchildren can be near him. After the fall of South Viet Nam in the 1970’s Quang Dao and his family escaped from the war torn country by boat and came to this country with nothing. In their custom made fireplace hearth Quang and his wife have an etched drawing of the refugee boat they escaped in. The story of the Dao family is heartwarming and the Dao family is truly grateful for their good fortune.
The dark side of lotteries is also covered. A Delaware working mother named Verna is also a gambling addict who spends $70 to $100 dollars a day buying lottery tickets in hopes of a big win. Verna picks her lottery numbers on ‘magical’ thought and various superstitious beliefs. There is also the happy story of Kristine and Steven White who lived in New Jersey and won $110 million in 2004 playing the Pennsylvania lottery. Initially the couple lived in the same house and their teenage son still worked at a fast food restaurant. The Whites used part of their winnings to offer financial aid to sick children. When director Blitz interviews the couple a year later they have moved into a private compound in Florida and Steve maintains a sports car collection.
The cautionary tale of Buddy, a former firefighter who squandered all his winnings is sobering. Buddy is now penniless and dependent on an oxygen tent and the kindness of friends. The documentary presents both sides of big lottery wins and the positive or negative experience a huge lottery payout can bring.