Tv review: Win the lottery and you will be happy

Anne Canavan, an inventor from Donegal, won £1 million on the UK lottery in 2015
Billy Foley

We Won the Lotto, RTE 1, Monday at 9.35pm

The gambling world has changed radically since the National Lottery was launched 30 years ago.

It began with one jackpot a week, with the draw taking place live on television on a Saturday evening.

There are now an incredible 44 draws a week and a myriad number of scratch cards.

The Lotto has expanded in a bid to maintain the attention of the punter as gambling has become more mainstream.

Of course betting on the Lotto is a bit of a fool's paradise. The odds are one in 10 million of a jackpot win but the fantasy of a life changing win keeps people playing.

‘We Won The Lotto' didn't explore that dangers of gambling, concentrating instead on the winners and their stories.

Not that there are too many public winners. The Irish are coy about coming into lots of money and that translates into just 5 per cent of winners standing in front of the cameras with an oversized cheque at Lotto headquarters in Dublin.

‘We Won The Lotto' was left with just three winners who were willing to share their stories.

Anne Canavan, an inventor from Donegal, won £1 million on the UK lottery in 2015 and thus far has managed to hold on to it. She lives a “frugal life” and plans not to work for anyone else again.

The two other winners didn't fare as well.

Billy Comer, from Galway, won IR£1.1 million in 1994 but lost it after giving up his steady job and buying two pubs. The pubs in his local village are now closed and Billy is “trying to keep the sunny side out.”

Vincent Keaney, from Cobh in Co Cork, also won IR£1 million in 1994. He lost his shirt after pouring money into a Titanic themed pub and restaurant in his hometown. He lost the business in 2005 and his house in 2014.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

A psychologist explains that the positive feelings from dreaming about winning are probably worth the price of the stake and that despite the tales of lottery misery, winners are on average happier.


Superbowl, BBC 1, Sunday at 11.15pm

Superbowl 52 got the plaudits as a brilliant game, but there should also be praise for the BBC and their presenting team.

Mark Chapman, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell informed, entertained and excited us for almost five hours.

Chapman, who also presents Match of the Day 2, is an American football fan with a detailed knowledge of the game but the understanding to ask the right questions for a non-specialist audience.

He's been joined for the last three seasons by Umenyiora, a London-born two time Superbowl winner, and Bell, a Californian former professional and partner of our own Nadine Coyle.

The chemistry works and is helped by the Americans still knowing how to put on a show.

There is no squeamishness in the US about sport being entertainment. They break for ads and the half-time show (Justin Timberlake paying tribute to Prince in his home town) is as important as the game itself.

That's one of the reasons it gets 160 million worldwide viewers.


The Tommy Tiernan Show, RTE 1, Wednesday at 9.35pm

The concept of the Tommy Tiernan show - he doesn't know what guests are coming on so can't prepare - mean it can be hit and miss.

But that's the beauty of it. Tiernan is unpredictable in his comedy and interviewing style and when he gets it right it's awesome television.

Watch the Damien Dempsey interview on the RTE player or youtube and enjoy a genuine risk taking show.

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