'(Not So) Lucky Ticket'—Screenplay
Does money really mean everything?
-Screenplay idea for an original short film-
NARRATOR: The American Dream is one of hope, and wishes for success. This idea has become old and tired in a society always expecting more and more, making the simple idea of the American Dream obsolete. It is rare to find the person that is satisfied with simply being successful enough to support themselves and their family. This new dream is the “Millionaire dream.” It seems, as society evolves, the drive to make more money than is reasonable to support oneself is more common. However, what does one person truly need with millions and millions of dollars? This idea then begs the question of how much is too much? When do you feel successful enough to simply stop being concerned with the idea of gaining more money? Most people do not have this limit. Their limit is synonymous with their end.
[Interior: Vehicle—it is dark outside with light music playing on the inside of the car]
[Close up on the subject's face while driving through a small town, coming from a very dissatisfying day of work at his job. He stops the car at a cornerstore where he is a regular. He walks in, and the clerk instantly recognizes the boy]
Store Clerk: What is up my man, how are you doing?
David: Doing well just got off work.
Store Clerk: That is good man, you look tired... long day?
David: Yeah just glad it’s over.
[Walks to the back of store to stare at the diverse selection of beer and wine]
[Another customer is also in the store looking into the wall coolers]
Customer: [Also staring at beer trying to make a choice with a few in his hand, looks up] You look a little young to be on this side don’t you?
David: No Sir, turned 21 back in May.
Customer: Well, in that case, I wish I could make some recommendations, but I truly don’t know what to say.
David: Okay, well I’ll let you know what I come up with then, thanks.
[Other Customer disappears towards the front side of the store]
[Looks around at the different brands close up, changes perspectives to see the prices]
David: Got it.
[Picks up one case of beer with two cans in his other hand]
[Proceeds to walk to the front counter back to the store clerk who he’s encountered many times prior]
Store Clerk: Ooh very, very nice, this is a lot of beer, no? Party night tonight?
David: No Sir, just headed over to see some friends.
Store Clerk: Okay, Okay, is this all then?
Store Clerk: Yes, that will be… $18.44
[Hands over card]
Store Clerk: Would you like a receipt?
David: No thanks, have a good one.
[Other customer appears from what seems like thin air]
Customer: Hey… HEY!
[David turns around nearly at the front door of the store, scared to find out who is calling so sternly]
David: Yes?... Oh, hey.
Customer: [Stammering urgently] You have to buy a lottery ticket tonight before you go, have you seen the Powerball?... It’s at 44 million dollars...
David: I’m o...
Customer: Wait a minute, I know you probably don’t usually play, but it’s the ones that don’t play that always win.
Customer: It’s only $3...
Customer: Come on, $3 for a chance at 44 million, that could be the chance of a lifetime
David: [Thinking]... I guess I can give it a try
[Proceeds to buy two tickets before the man buys one]
[Chooses his numbers, Ticket 1: 4, 17, 60, 25, 31... Powerball Number: 4]
[Ticket 2: 4, 17, 63, 18, 44... Powerball Number: 4]
David: Alright, I’ve got two now are you going to buy one?
Customer: Well, how ‘bout I just pay you for yours, you seem like good luck.
David: Oh, I don’t know... You can just pick your own numbers.
Customer: I wouldn’t know which ones to pick!
David: Well I didn’t either but I figured it out...
Customer: Come on man, I’ll pay you $20 for it that’s more than what you even paid, and if I win... I’ll meet you and tell you, and I’ll throw some more your way, you’d have more use for it than me.
[Looks down at tickets and studies them]
David: I don’t know man.
Customer: You wouldn’t have even bought them if it wasn’t for me being here in the first place, think about that...
David: That’s true, I guess. You got yourself a deal.
[The two men shake hands]
Customer: Same place, same time tomorrow, regardless if we win or not. I’ll even buy you a beer.
[The older man hands over the money and David then hands the man the first ticket]
[The old man departs first, followed shortly after by David]
[David climbs into car and drives away]
[David gets out and starts walking towards the door with the beer in both hands]
[David kicks the bottom of the door three times hard]
Friend 1: (Distant) Coming!
[Door swings open]
David: How’s it going?
Friend 1: My dude! You got beer, hell yeah.
David: Rough day I guess.
Friend 1: Ooookay then...
[David proceeds to the couch in the apartment around three friends]
[Two of David's friends grab controllers, and they start to play a video game]
Friend 2: Hey man you wanna play?
David: Nah, I’m alright, you got it.
[David pops open a beer]
David: Y'all want one?
[All three friends at once]
Friends together: Duh!
[Camera pans to the friend that opened the door]
Friend 1: So how’d work go?
David: It was alright, kinda shitty, manager sucks you know... Typical.
Friend 1: Damn, well how much do they pay you again?
David: Like 10 an hour.
Friend 1: Hey that’s not bad, you think they’d hire me?
David: I could put a word in for you, and see what they say.
Friend 1: That’d be great man thanks...
[Game continues on as the subject cracks another beer]
David: Yo, so the weirdest thing happened at the store when I was grabbing beer.
Friend 2: What happened?
David: This old dude convinced me to buy Powerball tickets, because he said I looked like a lucky guy. I don’t know what that's even supposed to mean... it just gave me a really weird feeling.
Friend 1: He just randomly walked up and said that? You're right that is weird.
Friend 2: What did you do?
David: Yeah I guess so, but he was right, I mean, 44 million? Shit that really would change my life forever.
Friend 2: That’s true dude, I wish I bought one.
Friend 2: What?
David: I did have two... but now, I only have one left... the guy that told me to buy them bought one off of me instead of buying his own.
Friend 1: And you did that? What if he fucking wins you idiot?
[David is visibly embarrassed]
David: Well no... he said if he wins we’ll meet up, and he’ll split some of it with me...
Friend 2: You’re so stupid.
David: Dude shut up, there’s no way either one of us is going to win.
Friend 2: Whatever man.
David: Wait... don’t they pick the numbers tonight?
Friend 1: I don’t know.
David: Alright well after this game change it to channel three, I wanna see what the numbers are just in case.
[Friend 2 finishes the game and switches the channel. It is 10:41 PM, nine minutes away from the drawing of the winner]
[Faint TV Broadcast in the background]
David: Alright I’m gonna go take a piss before this starts.
[Short clips of the friends talking without noise in the living room]
[Sound is restored]
Friend 2: Yo, its on—get in here.
[Subject runs frantically from the bathroom into the living room where his friends are gathered]
Announcer: Annnd here’s tonight’s Powerball numbers
[Friend 2 speaking indistinctly]
Announcer: First number is... 4!
Announcer: And your second number here tonight folks is 17!
[All friends fixate on the ticket]
Friend 1 & Friend 2: No fucking way
Announcer: Your third number is... 60!
Friend 1: That sucks dude
Friend 2: Yeah better luck next time
David: Yeah I know whatever it was worth a try…
[Broadcast continues in the background while the friends begin talking again and ignore the broadcast]
David: Wait a second, the first two numbers were the same on both of my tickets, what were the rest of the numbers she said?
Friend 2: I don’t know hold on let me go back..
[Friend 2 rewinds the broadcast to verify the numbers]
Announcer: Your third number is... 60!
[Friends wait with anticipation]
Announcer: The final number is 31 with the Powerball number 4!!! Good luck to you all, and goodnight.
David: You’ve got to be kidding me...
Friend 1: What?
David: I really think those are the numbers I picked.
Friend 1: Are you sure?
David: I’m pretty sure dude I know the first two numbers were the same on both tickets, and the Powerball number was the same, but I don’t know about the others.
Friend 2: I told you, you were stupid for letting him buy one.
David: We don’t even know if he won, I’m gonna go meet him, and see if he’ll be there. He seemed like a nice enough guy.
Friend 1: Yeah, sure... good luck I guess...
[Set in the parking lot of the same store around the same time as the night prior]
[David waits for a very long time waiting for the man to show up]
[The man never shows up]
[David is back in his friends apartment]
David: He didn’t show up.
Friend 1: Of course he didn’t, he won the Powerball off your money why would he show up and talk to you?
David: We don’t even know that yet.
Friend 1: Dude think about it, if he didn’t win he would’ve showed up trying to see if you won it. You just better HOPE he didn’t win.
David: Well I don’t know, like I said, he seems like a good dude, and he said he’d give me…
Friend 2: No, dude listen to me he’s right, he would’ve been there if he didn’t win. You really just ruined the opportunity of a lifetime, you wouldn’t ever have to work again if you won that much money
David: I know but seriously who would’ve guessed that I would have actually won.
Friend 1: Dude still like you’re the one that took the odds, and you guessed the right numbers—you deserve this. We need to find this guy.
David: Well there’s nothing I can do now, I don’t know anything about him, he never even said his name...
[Follows the old man from the store through a montage of high roller activities: gambling, heavy drinking, vacations]
[3 months later]
[TV clicks on]
News Anchor 1: Breaking News, man found dead inside of Las Vegas club due to what the police believe to be a drug overdose. Due to the wishes of the family, his name will not be released. However, our reports show that this same man recently won the Powerball prize of 44 million dollars
News Anchor 2: It’s so sad to see a man who had such luck in winning this large prize go so soon, I guess some people just can’t handle the spotlight.
News Anchor 2: And now back to Jerry for sports!
[TV Clicks off]
[Camera pans over to David with the remote still in hand]
[David approaches the apartment of his two friends to explain his findings]
[Knock on door]
[Friend 1 shuffling inside apartment]
[Door swings open to show David looking frazzled.
David: You won’t believe what happened.
Friend 1: It’s so early dude what are you talking about are you okay?
David: I-I’m fine dude, but that could have been me.
Friend 1: What could have been?
David: The dude, the old guy that bought my ticket..
Friend 1: Yeah?
David: He’s dead. I guess it just got to his head and he died, it was a drug overdose they said.
Friend 1: What the hell? Are you serious?
David: Yes why would I joke about something like this... this would never have happened if I never bought into his stupid bullshit about buying a ticket.
Friend 1: No man you can’t possibly be blaming yourself for this, come on.
David: No really though, that same thing could’ve happened to me. That was a grown man that couldn’t handle that much money, could you imagine if I had gotten it?
Friend 1: Oh, okay yeah, like winning the lottery is such a bad thing?
David: It’s not bad, but that amount of money all at once... Could you imagine?
Friend 1: I would kill for that amount of money.
David: Do you not understand what happened here? Someone literally just died, because they couldn’t handle the money—that could be anyone, even you, even me.
Friend 1: Dude, calm down. You’re being crazy.
David: Am I though? Like really, what would you even do with that amount of money? No one person needs that much money at once.
Friend 1: Okay, well just relax, you’re fine. Don’t worry about that dude anyway, you didn’t even know him.
David: Regardless if I knew him or not, he’s dead, and that’s on me now. What am I supposed to do with that?
Friend 1: If you’re really gonna blame yourself then take it as a blessing, like you said earlier that could’ve been you, so know you just have to be happy it wasn’t, and take that to heart.
Thank you for reading.
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