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Lottery$ 1983.jpg
Created byRick Rosner[1]
Written byHindi Brooks
Don Bullock
Tony DiMarco
Rudy Dochtermann
David Engelbach
David Gerber
Peggy Goldman
Bruce Kalish
Stephen Kendal
David Ketchum
S.A. Long
Lee Philips
Duane Poole
Ton Swale
Directed byDon Chaffey
Barry Crane
Georg Fenady
Lawrence Levy
Vincent McEveety
Barbara Peters
Lee Philips
James Sheldon
Mike Vejar
Virgil W. Vogel
Don Weis
StarringBen Murphy
Marshall Colt
Theme music composerElizabeth Bradley
James P. Dunne
Opening theme"Turn of the Cards" performed by Alan Graham
ComposersKen Heller
Mark Snow
Michael Melvoin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes17 (list of episodes)
Executive producerRick Rosner
ProducersRobert Janes
Robert Lovenheim
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45–48 minutes
Production companiesRosner Television
Orion Television
DistributorMGM Television
Original networkABC
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1983 (1983-09-09) –
June 14, 1984 (1984-06-14)

Lottery! is an American drama series that premiered on ABC on September 9, 1983.[1] The series aired for one season of 17 episodes and starred Ben Murphy as Patrick Sean Flaherty, and Marshall Colt as Eric Rush. Lottery! centered on ordinary people who have won the lottery—all of a sudden becoming millionaires—and how it changes their lives.[1]


Each week, several guest stars become instant millionaires (in two or three different stories) when their lottery tickets bring them fame, fortune, and usually trouble. Flaherty worked for the "Intersweep Lottery." His job was to find the winner(s), inform them of their winnings, and give him or her an envelope containing $5,000 in cash, and a check worth millions. In the event of ownership disputes with the winning ticket, Flaherty would also act as an arbitrator responsible for determining the true recipient in what method used to settle the matter.

Rush was Flaherty's partner, an IRS agent who oversaw the accounting of the payouts and the arrangement of the winner's tax obligations. Each episode also took place in a different city around the country.

The opening titles for the show featured large banks of computers and tape drives. Above what appeared to be a trading floor (similar to what one would see at a stock exchange) were large electronic toteboards showing the latest prizes, the winners's names, and the countries in which they lived. At the end of every episode, the show displayed the following disclaimer:
"The Intersweep Lottery is purely fictitious.
Except for states where they are legally authorized, lotteries in this country are illegal."

The Intersweep Lottery itself was actually more akin to the Publishers Clearing House than any of the popular lottery games in the U.S. and around the world, such as the Irish Sweepstakes, which was believed to have given Rosner the idea for the series. Participants in this lottery purchased numbered tickets. Each ticket carried a unique serial number consisting of two letters followed by six numbers. The drawing of winning numbers was also never featured in any of the episodes in this series.

Lottery! is not the first series to deal with the elation and challenges of sudden wealth. The basic premise is loosely similar to an earlier series, The Millionaire with Marvin Miller, except that the money was given out by a mysterious benefactor, John Beresford Tipton, to specific named individuals without the organization of a lottery, and that any taxes on the money had already been paid in advance. In 1979, NBC produced Sweepstakes, an equally short-lived series with a similar premise; it, too, lasted only a single season. In 2006, NBC tried again with Windfall, a series about a group of twenty friends winning a multimillion-dollar lottery prize; that series lasted only three months before cancellation.

US Television Ratings[edit]

Season Episodes Start Date End Date Nielsen Rank Nielsen Rating[2] Tied With
1983-84 17 September 9, 1983 June 14, 1984 77 12.5 N/A


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"San Francisco: Being a Winner"Lee PhilipsDavid EngelbachSeptember 9, 1983 (1983-09-09)
2"Los Angeles: Bigger Volume"Barry CranePeggy GoldmanSeptember 16, 1983 (1983-09-16)
3"Denver: Following Through"James SheldonStephen KandelSeptember 23, 1983 (1983-09-23)
4"Detroit: The Price of Freedom"Mike VejarTeleplay by: Rudy Dochtermann
Story by: Linda Elstad
September 30, 1983 (1983-09-30)
5"Phoenix: Blood Brothers"Lawrence LevyDavid Ketchum & Tony DiMarcoOctober 7, 1983 (1983-10-07)
6"Portland: Treasure Hunt"Don ChaffeyRudy DochtermannOctober 21, 1983 (1983-10-21)
7"Kansas City: Protected Winner"Vince McEveetyTeleplay by: Duane Poole & Tom Swale
Story by: Craig Buck and Duane Poole & Tom Swale
October 28, 1983 (1983-10-28)
8"Charleston: The Spenders"Barbara PetersTeleplay by: Hindi Brooks and David Garber & Bruce Kalish
Story by: Bud Freeman and David Garber & Bruce Kalish
November 4, 1983 (1983-11-04)
9"New York: Winning Can Be a Murder"Virgil W. VogelS.A. Long and Duane Poole & Tom SwaleNovember 18, 1983 (1983-11-18)
10"Houston: Duffy's Choice"James SheldonTeleplay by: Don Balluck
Story by: J.J. Farber
November 25, 1983 (1983-11-25)
11"Boston: False Illusion"Don WeisRonnie Wenker-KonnerDecember 9, 1983 (1983-12-09)
12"Chicago: Another Chance"James SheldonDuane Poole & Tom SwaleMarch 1, 1984 (1984-03-01)
13"San Diego: Bingo!"Georg FenadyDavid BraffMarch 8, 1984 (1984-03-08)
14"Miami: Sharing"Mike VejarAustin KalishMarch 15, 1984 (1984-03-15)
15"St. Louis: Win or Lose"Barry CraneHindi BrooksMarch 22, 1984 (1984-03-22)
16"Honolulu: 3-2=1"James SheldonDuane Poole & Tom SwaleMarch 29, 1984 (1984-03-29)
17"Minneapolis: Six Months Down"Peter CraneRudy DochtermannJune 14, 1984 (1984-06-14)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1984 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Young Actor, Guest in a Television Series Corey Feldman


  1. ^ a b c J. O'Connor, John (September 9, 1983). "TV WEEKEND; 'LOTTERY!' SERIES, TENNIS AND BOXING". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "1983-84 Ratings History -- The Networks Are Awash in a Bubble Bath of Soaps".

External links[edit]