Making the Grades
Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) is a good kid in a bad situation. Living in the projects with his grandmother (Loretta Devine), he has given up his dream of design school in order to help pay the rent. Yet even his income from working at a shoe store shrivels up when Kevin is fired after three thugs from his neighborhood try and walk out with several boxes of merchandise. Lorenzo (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and his heavies are caught but the young employee becomes the number one target on the crook’s hit list.
Shuffling home from the mall, Kevin purchases a lottery ticket for his grandmother and at the last minute decides to buy one for himself. The next morning he discovers he has won the entire $370 million jackpot, although it will be three days until he can turn the ticket over to the lottery board.
Wanting to keep the news quiet, he swears his grandmother to secrecy and takes off for the day with his friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson). By the time he returns, the whole neighborhood is partying at his house. (It seems one of the neighbors pried the information out of the older woman when he saw her doing a happy dance with an open bottle of liquor.) Now every one of them has a monetary appeal for Kevin. And it is no different when he shows up at church on Sunday. In a blatant grab for Kevin’s cash, the minister (Mike Epps) calls upon the young parishioner to make not only a donation for a new church but also a personal donation to the preacher for a new mansion.
Following the life-changing event, Kevin tries to maintain his sensibility about money. Still he is momentarily bedazzled by the advances of a gorgeous young woman (Teairra Mari) who wants to become his baby’s momma in order to ensure her own financial future. Later he tries to seduce another young woman (Naturi Maughton) but is interrupted by the arrival of her mother. He also naively accepts a large cash advance—used to go on a shopping and drinking binge with other underage friends—from the sort of character (Keith David) that has unusually brutal methods of ensuring debt repayment.
However all the petitions from his neighbors seem like pocket change compared to the request from one man who demands Kevin hand over the winning ticket.
Unfortunately this comedy about a boy who tries to do right is punctuated with vicious fistfights and threatening gun use, which damper the feel of the film. Profanities, racial slurs, a sexual expletive and other sexual and derogatory terms litter the entire script as well. Despite its best efforts to tender a heartwarming ending to the money-grabbing tale, The Lottery Ticket offers more content concerns than most parents will want to cash in on.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Lottery Ticket.
A scene in this film depicts a man who interrupts a neighborhood barbeque and begins a serious altercation with young man while attempting to steal from him. The crowd simply watches. How do you think your neighbors would react in a similar scenario? How do we know when we should intervene in these types of situations? What dangers might be involved?
Two older teens discuss using a condom prior to beginning sexual activity. It is implied that preventing pregnancy is the main reason for using a condom. Are there other reasons? What are other concerns with impulsive sexual activity aside from pregnancy? Can a condom protect you from every consequence involved with this decision?