Columbo (1971–2003)
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Death Hits the Jackpot 

Freddie Brower, 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 »


Vincent McEveety


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Rip Torn ... Leon Lamarr
Jamie Rose ... Nancy Brower
Gary Kroeger ... Freddy Brower
Betsy Palmer ... Martha Lamarr
Warren Berlinger ... Det. Jack Stroller
Antony Ponzini ... Gregory Lopiccolo
Penny Santon Penny Santon ... Momma
Marilyn Tokuda Marilyn Tokuda ... Judy
Britt Lind ... Trish
Robert Alan Browne ... Detective Lancer
Daniel Trent Daniel Trent ... Detective Braverman
Donald Craig Donald Craig ... Auctioneer
Peter Schreiner Peter Schreiner ... Otto
Shane McCabe Shane McCabe ... Meyer McGinty


Freddie Brower, 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 Lamarr has ideas of his own. Written by Jerry Milani <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »





English | Italian

Release Date:

15 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kuolema vie päävoiton See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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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 »


A lottery ticket is a "bearer instrument." There are no names on it; whoever turns it in, wins the money. Once it is learned that Leon has killed his nephew, the money would not go to the nephew's wife, as Columbo says. There's no legal way to prove Freddy ever had the ticket. Had he dropped it in the street, whoever picked it up and cashed it in would get the money. See more »


Columbo: Well, the bad news, ma'am, is that Mr. Lamarr here is going to be arrested for the murder of your husband.
Nancy Brower: Oh, my God. Leon, how could you?
Leon Lamarr: Ha!
Nancy Brower: And what's the good news?
Columbo: That you've just inherited the better part of $24 million after taxes. It wasn't Mr. Lamarr who won the lottery, it was your late husband.
Nancy Brower: [pretending surprise] What?
Columbo: And even though you were in the process of getting a divorce, you were still legally married at the time of the drawing.
Nancy Brower: I get the money?
Columbo: All of it. All of those ...
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Where Have All The Flowers Gone
Written by Pete Seeger
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User Reviews

Rip Torn is Brilliant
16 August 2006 | by mountain227See all my reviews

Wow.This has got to be one of my favorite mystery/detective thrillers of all time.(And not just Columbo titles)To say the plot of this is ingenious would actually be an understatement.I just fell in love with the storyline,everything.Rip Torn takes the character of Leon Lamarr and turns him into one of my most favorite villains ever.Torn was simply brilliant.Death Hits the Jackpot is all peaks and no valleys.

The costuming at the Halloween party was delightful, and the performance of Betsy Palmer was very solid.I could watch this countless times over and never cease to be amazed with the quality of this mystery, the cast, the subtle clues and tidbits of evidence, the whole package is right up my alley.I give it a 10 out of 10.

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