Sliders: Season 1, Episode 9

Luck of the Draw (17 May 1995)

TV Episode  |   |  Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 143 users  
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In a seemingly Utopian world where population control is a priority, citizens play the lottery at local ATM machines. The more they withdraw from the public account, the more chances they ... See full summary »



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Title: Luck of the Draw (17 May 1995)

Luck of the Draw (17 May 1995) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Cleavant Derricks ...
Alex Datcher ...
Julianne Murphy
Ken Neisser
Geoff Edwards ...
Tim Henry ...
Agent Jones
Agent Wilson
Nathan Vanering ...
Father Fergus
Walter Marsh ...
Fatherly Man
Kristina Matisic ...
News Anchor
Ted Cole ...
Friendly Man
David Glyn-Jones ...
Elderly Man


In a seemingly Utopian world where population control is a priority, citizens play the lottery at local ATM machines. The more they withdraw from the public account, the more chances they have to win the jackpot. Wade winds up a winner and now has to keep her end of the deal which makes the next slide all the more urgent. Rembrandt is arrested for trying to help a lottery winner reverse her fortunes. Written by Mark D. Snyder

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

17 May 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Paradise, Joycelyn Elders is the President of the United States in 1995. In real life, she served as the US Surgeon General from 1993 to 1994 and is a proponent of safe sex. See more »


When Henry the dog is jumping at Arturo and he tells him to "Get down you loathsome creature", Quinn replies, "At least he's not biting you," but his lips clearly say, "At least he's not humping you." See more »


Rembrandt 'Crying Man' Brown: The more you take, the better your chances? These odds I like!
Prof. Maximilian Arturo: I'd be very careful, Mr. Brown. We know nothing of this world. I suggest we take no more than we see other people taking.
Quinn Mallory: He's right. "When in Rome."
Rembrandt 'Crying Man' Brown: Yeah, I played Rome in '83. Rome's expensive as hell.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most cerebral TV shows ever made
26 February 2009 | by (Hungary) – See all my reviews

"Luck of the Draw" was an award winning and highly memorable episode from the Sci-fi TV series "Sliders" partly based on a novel called "The Lottery". It was and always will be one of my biggest favourite TV shows ever made. The plot is about the Sliders who entered the seemingly utopistic world, where the world population is only 500 million, there are no poverty, economical problems, ethnical conflicts. It seems perfect, so Wade Welles thought about staying here forever.

The whole system is based on a strange lottery system, which easily fooled Wade and Remmy. As much happy the first half of the show is, it turns out to be a really dark hour in the second half. Wade, who won the lottery, and his slider friends learnt that lottery winners are about to die in the next day in return for their money. Wade didn't want to die, and also want to save a new friend from this world, called Ryan. The guy looked baffled at first, but helped Wade in the most critical moments. On the other hand, Remmy who wanted to save another female lottery winner got into trouble when he broke the lottery rules. The second half of the show is very dark and adventurous. In the end, the Sliders managed to open the gateway, and all of the original 4 plus Ryan have been saved from the doom, however the episode ended in a memorable cliffhanger.

The acting from the cast in this show is excellent, particularly from Wade, Remmy and the Professor. The main star, Jerry O'Connell stays in the background this time. The support characters did their job very well too.

Unfortunately the Sliders 1st season ended with this episode, and never returned in this level in its later seasons. The cliffhanger resolution was bad, and Ryan, along with the little dog Henry never returned thanks to FOX executives, who were very guilty for destroying the series.

Jon Povill who also wrote the underrated "El Sid", along with shows for Stargate SG-1 won an award for this though-provoking episode. If you watch this, you will understand the main social problems of the utopistic ideologies (communism for example) and the pro-choice view in the human rights. You also understand the malthusian dilemma, and the importance of the population control in some way.

My rating: a definite 10/10 for Luck of the Draw.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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