Lottery Changed My Life

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Lottery Changed My Life TV Poster Image
Jackpot winners learn that money can’t buy happiness.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show sends the message that while money may be helpful in buying things, it doesn’t solve all problems -- and it doesn't buy happiness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some winners donate money to give back to their communities, but others go to town buying expensive things.

Violence

Some winners talk about being threatened or having their homes broken into after they won the jackpot. One person left her home town for safety reasons.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Lottery winners go on dream vacations and buy properties and luxury items, including cars like Corvettes, Mini-Coopers, GT Convertibles, and Class G Lincolns.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasionally people are shown in bars or other places with alcohol in the background.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which people share their experiences after winning the lottery -- underscores the message that money doesn't buy happiness and that it can even cause problems. While some winners use the money for positive things, many spend their fortunes on properties and luxury items like luxury cars. Some winners even recount threats of violence and break-ins.

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What's the story?

LOTTERY CHANGED MY LIFE features otherwise-ordinary people who share their stories about where and when they bought their winning lottery ticket, how they found out that they'd won, and what they did next -- from buying expensive cars to making major donations to traveling around the world. Some of the winners also discuss the negative repercussions of winning the lottery, like losing friends and/or their fortune by getting involved in projects with unscrupulous investors. In between each segment, lottery trivia questions are asked and answered.

Is it any good?

Lottery Changed My Life showcases the variety of ways that people spend their lotto winnings and highlights the fact that many of these winners choose to live simple lives and/or give back to their communities. Others make the most of the opportunity by helping loved ones or following their true passions.

Some people may find these stories inspiring, but overall the series isn’t very interesting. Hearing about winners' inability to trust former friends and/or the fact that they wound up living in fear of predators isn’t exactly fun, either. But it ultimately underscores the lesson that winning loads of money doesn’t necessarily solve problems or guarantee happiness, and that's not a bad lesson to learn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they would do if they won the lottery. What would be some of the benefits? Would there be drawbacks? How would your friends and family react?

  • Is there anything wrong with wanting to buy expensive things that you've always dreamed about having with your winnings? Do winners have a duty to do something for others with the money?

TV details

  • Premiere date: August 6, 2009
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG

For kids who love reality TV

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