Winning the lottery is a daydream almost everyone has had at some point in their lives, so it's not surprising that filmmakers have used lottery wins as a plot device almost since the dawn of cinema.From early black and white films such as Lottery Bride (1930) and Le Million (1931) to fairly modern comedies like Lucky Numbers (2000), lottery jackpots have been used to explore various consequences of and attitudes towards instant wealth - to the extent that it's now possible to group together an entire genre of films from across the decades under a 'lottery films' banner.While their subject matter may be big wins, many lottery films have unfortunately proven to be big misses, at least in the opinion of critics. Take the aforementioned Lucky Numbers, loosely based on a true story that occurred in 1980 in Pennsylvania, where a group of corrupt TV personalities conspire to fix the state lottery. Despite having a few big names in front of the camera, the film was not very well received.Lighter on laughs but no more convincing as an adventure flick is The Ticket (1997), in which a plane is sabotaged in an attempt to steal a passenger's winning ticket, which he's on his way to collect. That's not to say that all lottery-based films are flops, however, with the Irish film Waking Ned - filmed on the scenic Isle of Man - being among the highest rated. The plot involves a group of townspeople attempting to convince an official that they are the late Ned Devine, who died at the shock of hearing he had won the Irish National Lottery, and is celebrated for its dark humour. One of the reasons films about the lottery don't tend to make a big impression is that they don't give the audience a true insight into what it would be like to receive such a large sum of money, instead focusing on unrealistic action plots. That's why real-life documentaries about the true experiences of lottery winners tend to be much better received.The best known example is the short educational film The Lottery, released by Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1969 and ranked by the Academic Film Archive as among the biggest selling educational films of all time. In addition to the 20-minute feature itself, The Lottery is accompanied by a 10-minute commentary by USC English professor Dr James Durbin, explaining more behind the myths and realities of lottery draws.