Longing to move up in the world and escape their ordinary lives, the Johnson family pin all their hopes on a sweepstakes ticket. When their ticket becomes one of twenty finalists, temptation to sell it before the prize is selected wears on them, but they win it. Afterward, what looked like a life of ease turns into problems and heartache.
An angry taxpayer in a suburban New York town finally gets fed up with the crooked and incompetent politicians running the local government and sets out to do something about it. However, the political machine doesn't scare so easily and they begin to make life miserable for the man and his family.
A young Norwegian sailor on a ship bound for San Francisco runs afoul of a gang smuggling opium from Asia, which threatens to kill him if he doesn't smuggle drugs into the country for them when he lands in San Francisco.