The Lottery! TV show was a 60 minute drama series on ABC about a lottery employee named Patrick Flaherty whose job it was to find people who had "hit the jackpot". He would give them their fortunes and IRS agent Eric Rush would go along to ensure that the taxes got paid. The storylines would then continue by showing the positive and negative effects of becoming an instant millionaire!
Ben Murphy .... Patrick Sean Flaherty
Marshall Colt .... Eric Rush
Patrick Flaherty worked for the "Irish Intersweep Lottery". When he found a winner, he would give them $5000 in cash and a check for the remainder of their millions of dollars!
Each episode of the Lottery TV show was comprised of several segments, each with their own winner.
Most of the Lottery's episodes concentrated on the problems involved in becoming rich overnight like being contacted by "friends" that the winners hadn't heard from in years (looking for a handout, of course), deciding who actually owned the winning ticket, getting called by every (so called) charity, etc.
It's probable that The Lottery TV show was at least somewhat inspired by a hit CBS series that ran for six seasons beginning in 1955 titled, "The Millionaire". There was no lottery involved in that series but everyday, average people were suddenly given a million dollars by a very rich man who remained anonymous. That series also dealt with the negative aspects involved in getting rich quickly.
NBC finally got into the act in 2006 by airing another get rich overnight series titled, "Windfall". It was about 20 people who bought a lottery ticket together and won a multi-million dollar prize. Windfall only lasted for three months.
The cash that each winner got on the Lottery consisted of five $1000 bills even though there were no bills in circulation larger than the $100 bill in 1983! The United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving made the unique bills especially for the show!
During the opening segment of The Lottery, a bunch of large 1980s computers with man-sized tape drives were shown. Below the computers were huge electronic displays that showed the names of current lottery winners, how much they had each won, and the nation where they each lived. Many people were rushing all around the room, kind of like what you'd see on the floor of a stock exchange. It's unclear what required such an amount of activity in simply giving lottery winners their prizes. Other than during the opening segment, the Irish Intersweep Lottery's "headquarters" were never seen during any episode.
The choosing of the winning lottery numbers was also never seen during the entire series' run.
The only award that The Lottery got nominated for was a "Young Artist Award" in the category, "Best Young Guest Actor in a Television Series" for a performance by Corey Feldman. Timothy Patrick Murphy won that award though for a role he played on "The Love Boat".
A disclaimer at the end of the episodes attempted to educate the viewers about the fact that gambling in lotteries was often illegal. It read, "The Intersweep Lottery is fictitious. Except where licensed by state governments, lotteries in this country are illegal".
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