Columbo: Season 11, Episode 1

Death Hits the Jackpot (15 Dec. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 607 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Freddy, a down-on-his-luck photographer in the final stages of a divorce, wins $30 million in the lottery. In order to not share it with his wife before the divorce is finalized, he ... See full summary »



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Title: Death Hits the Jackpot (15 Dec 1991)

Death Hits the Jackpot (15 Dec 1991) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Lamarr
Nancy Brower
Gary Kroeger ...
Freddy Brower
Martha Lamarr
Warren Berlinger ...
Det. Stroller
Antony Ponzini ...
Gregory Lopiccolo
Penny Santon ...
Marilyn Tokuda ...
Brit Lind ...
Trish (as Britt Lind)
Robert Alan Browne ...
Detective Lancer
Daniel Trent ...
Detective Braverman
Donald Craig ...
Peter Schreiner ...
Shane McCabe ...
Meyer McGinty


Freddy, a down-on-his-luck photographer in the final stages of a divorce, wins $30 million in the lottery. In order to not share it with his wife before the divorce is finalized, he arranges for his uncle Leon to cash in the ticket and give Freddy the money after the divorce. But Uncle Leon has ideas of his own... Written by Jerry Milani <>

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Release Date:

15 December 1991 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the third episode in which Columbo speaks fluent Italian. See more »


When Leon breaks the watch, he waits for the second hand to stop. This was clearly achieved by freeze-framing, rather than the watch actually stopping. See more »


Columbo: You know, on second thought, maybe I oughta have our old car repainted. Jack, it's 25 years. I oughta do something special.
Jack: Your car or her car?
Columbo: I didn't hear that.
See more »


Followed by Columbo: Murder with Too Many Notes (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

A bit of a less serious Columbo movie, with a great Rip Torn in it.
30 October 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

All Columbo movies had a certain amount of relieving comedy in it but this movie can really be seen as a true comedy. It's more comical than other Columbo entries and its made more as a real comedy. It perhaps makes this movie harder to take serious than other Columbo movie entries but it of course also makes it more fun to watch as well. In that regard "Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot" is a good and welcome, slightly different, Columbo movie entry.

It's not like the movie isn't offering any mystery-thriller elements. It of course is still a Columbo movie with all of the right required genre elements in it and it still sticks to the usual successful Columbo movie formula as well. It's not like the movie is offering the best or most original story though. It's like a combination of many other previous Columbo movies in more than just a couple of ways, even more than usually is the case. But just because the movie isn't the most original doesn't mean is not the best one to watch. It's simply too well made for that. It also has some nice twists to it, though not all of them feel very likely.

Not in the least the movie works out so well due to the acting performances. Rip Torn is just great in this. He's of course also part of the reason why this movie feels as such a comical one. He at first sight doesn't seem like the most logical choice to play the murderer in a Columbo movie but he simply truly suits his role very well. There also is some nice interaction between him and Peter Falk, who himself also seemed to be a bit improvising at times, which works out nice.

The movie also has a great ending. Again, it's not really the most likely conclusion and way for Lt. Columbo to solve the murder but it nevertheless is a nice and original one.

A pleasant little Columbo movie entry. Nothing too great or original but perfectly watchable due to its entertainment value.


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