If money cannot buy happiness, what drives people to participate in a lottery? And what is the effect of (almost) winning on someone’s life or that of people around them? In Just My Luck, Cécile Hupin and Katherine Longly (BE) set out to compare dream to reality by giving a voice to those who won or came close to winning a jackpot, for better or for worse. Their stories paint a picture of our society, our aspirations, our beliefs, and our relationship with money.
Human beings have always dreamt of the small miracle that could change their lives, and the invention of lottery games turned pure fantasy into a realm of possibility. Intrigued by the consequences that such upheaval can have on someone’s life, Hupin and Longly spent five years interviewing those who have experienced it. Far from the glitz, all accounts seemed inextricably linked to the notions of luck and bad luck. As if to believe in one was to risk activating the other.
We meet Serkan, the newsagent who had to close his shop after a street sweeper won 168 million. We meet Paul, who saw his winnings slip through his fingers because of a technical problem at the draw. We meet Ahmed, who was unfairly accused of forging his winning ticket and served a year in prison. We meet Juliette who, despite winning a million, continued to work behind the bar. And we meet many others.
Halfway between artistic and sociological research, Just My Luck contains only first-hand accounts, in order to emphasise the personal stories behind the catchy headlines that the tabloid press is so fond of.