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Lucky Numbers (2000)

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A television weatherman scams a local lottery.


Nora Ephron


Adam Resnick
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Russ Richards
Lisa Kudrow ... Crystal
Tim Roth ... Gig
Ed O'Neill ... Dick Simmons
Michael Rapaport ... Dale
Daryl Mitchell ... Det. Chambers
Bill Pullman ... Det. Pat Lakewood
Richard Schiff ... Jerry Green
Michael Moore ... Walter
Sam McMurray ... Chief Troutman
Michael Weston ... Larry
Maria Bamford ... Wendy the Waitress
Caroline Aaron ... Nurse Sharpling
John F. O'Donohue ... Bobby (as John F. O'Donahue)
Colin Mochrie ... Jack


Winter 1988. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is Russ Richard's oyster, there where he is the popular weatherman for WTPA Channel 6 News. That popularity allows him many perks in the city, especially at his local Denny's. Things start to go off the rails for him as this winter is unseasonably warm and not white, meaning that no one is buying from his snowmobile dealership, and none of his usual sources are willing to advance him any money to tide him over this rough business patch. In turning to Gig, a slightly shady acquaintance who operates a strip club and bar, Russ decides to turn to illegal activities to get the money he needs. After one failed attempt at that criminal life which has its own negative consequences, Russ instead decides on a lottery scam, his partners in crime being Gig, and Crystal Latroy, Russ' colleague at WTPA as the Pennsylvania Lucky Six Lottery girl - the lottery numbers which are drawn live on air during WTPA's supper hour news - and his sometime lover. Crystal is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When they put their heads together... it's a no brainer.


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality, some drug use and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



France | USA



Release Date:

27 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Numbers See more »

Filming Locations:

Arcadia, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$63,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,536,625, 29 October 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,014,234, 17 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The call letters for the station: WTPA were actual call letters for the actual ABC affiliate in Harrisburg WHTM TV from 1953-1980. See more »


When Russ and Gig are leaving the Denny's, a sign for "Big-K" can be clearly seen in the background. The film is set in 1988, but K-Mart did not adopt the Big-K logo until 1996. See more »


Crystal: There is a limit to my classiness!
Gig: Tch. Quite Obviously.
See more »


References The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »


Etrange No. 3 (The Twilight Zone Theme)
Written by Marius Constant
See more »

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User Reviews

Something A Little Bit Different From Ephron
31 October 2000 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

Working from a screenplay by Adam Resnick, director Nora Ephron diverts from her usual domain of romantic comedy to skirt the perimeter of Scorsese territory with `Lucky Numbers,' a black comedy of errors starring John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow. Travolta is T.V. weatherman Russ Richards, something of a local celebrity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he also owns a snowmobile dealership. Kudrow is Crystal Latroy, who works for the same station as Richards, as the `Vanna White' of the state lottery show; she's the girl who pulls the ping-pong balls from the tube and calls out the winning numbers. In their world, everything is pretty much jake until the weather stays too good for too long; no snow means no snowmobile sales for Russ, and pretty quickly he's in it up to here, financially. With his back against the wall, the usually honest and upright Richards is coaxed into a plan that will put an end to his woes and worries. All he has to do is convince Crystal to help him rig the lottery, and they'll walk away with upward of six million dollars. And, as it usually goes with a plan for the perfect crime, it isn't long before Murphy's Law goes into effect, and things go south in a hurry. And life for Russ Richards, a guy with his own table at Denny's, just isn't what it used to be. But, like they say, when things look dark, it's probably only going to get darker... For Travolta, the character of Richards is somewhat different than any he's done before. To pull it off (which he does), he has to play down the charm and stifle his natural charisma, leaving Russ with just enough polish and ego to make him `local celebrity' believable. This is a good guy at heart, reasonably intelligent, but not exactly the brightest bulb in the overheads. And Travolta manages to put it all across admirably. He's not someone you'll easily relate to, but you've got to like this guy. He's kind of a, well, he's a goof-ball. Kudrow has a character in Crystal that is different for her as well; as the lotto girl, on the show she exhibits a somewhat dense persona; but Crystal is anything but. She's the sharp one of the bunch, externally charming when she needs to be, but tough as nails on the inside and ready to play hardball as soon as the opportunity presents itself. And Kudrow plays it all beautifully. Crystal is not someone you're readily going to embrace, but it's hard not to like her. Is it her fault there's more than a little larceny in her heart just waiting for the right circumstances to be unleashed? Ephron seems to enjoy taking these characters, who are just a shade darker than what she's used to, through their paces. It's a satirical walk on the wild side for her, and she manages to mine laughs in some of the darkest places along the way. But when you have characters with names like `Gig' (Tim Roth) and `Dale the Thug' (Michael Rapaport), you're going to get some chuckles no matter what, especially when one of them is wielding a baseball bat for all the wrong reasons. The supporting cast includes Ed O'Neill (Dick), Michael Moore (Walter), Michael Weston (Larry), and, in a small, but highly effective and hilarious role, Bill Pullman (Lakewood). This is a funny movie, though not uproariously so; things happen that you will laugh at in spite of yourself, while at other times there are moments that are genuinely side-splitting hilarious (one in particular, near the end, that involves an eighteen-wheeler). This may not be Ephron's crowning achievement cinematically, but nevertheless, `Lucky Numbers' is entertaining and good for some laughs. For Ephron, it's definitely the road less traveled; but in the end, it's a trip worth taking with her. I rate this one 7/10.

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