Indianapolis Star, 1983
As with "The Millionaire" a quarter-century ago, the action in "Lottery" is triggered when a courier delivers checks for millions of dollars to unsuspecting winners.

In "Lottery," Ben Murphy portrays the courier for an international sweepstakes, with Marshall Colt as an Internal Revenue agent who tags along to grab Uncle Sam's bite.

Each episode will involve three recipients and three stories, all in the same city, but with a different locale each week.

Producer Rick Rosner says he even plans to do a show with Indianapolis for a background.

For Friday's plot, the locale is San Francisco, and the three tales involved a retarded young man, a penniless lady cop and a desperately broke wheeler-dealer.

Giving away millions isn't always easy for Murphy. For instance, the retarded man's sister and her venal boyfriend conspire to take the money away from the innocent, even to the point of attempted homicide.

The story with the lady copy never really becomes a story. She takes her $2.5 million and goes on a spending binge. Period.

The best yarn of the three involves Allen Goorwitz, whose life is one failed deal after another. And he gets little sympathy from his frumpy, self-indulgent wife, Renee Taylor.

Creditors are hounding him from all directions, and the finance company has snatched his car. So when Colt comes looking for him and leaves his IRS calling card, Boorwitz reasonably thinks he's wanted for tax evasion.

While Murphy and Colt search for him, Boorwitz sinks to Skid Row, sharing a park bench with a bum, consorting with the winos. They finally catch up with him as Boorwitz clings to a construction scafford ready to end it all.

The best part of "Lottery" is the epilogue in which the writers, documentary style, report on the fate of the money winners a year later.

It's a whimsical commentary on human nature, and how even massive infusions of money rarely change basic character traits.

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