Home » Arts & Entertainment » A Detective Offered to Split a Lottery Ticket With a Waitress at His Favorite Restaurant. When the Numbers Won, He Split $6M with Her.
It Could Happen to You

A Detective Offered to Split a Lottery Ticket With a Waitress at His Favorite Restaurant. When the Numbers Won, He Split $6M with Her.

It Could Happen to You is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. Isaac Hayes was the film’s narrator and played a supporting role as an undercover reporter and photographer, Angel Dupree. But did you know why the film was so interesting?

Officer Robert Cunningham, a frequent customer, suggested that Phyllis Penzo and he split a lottery ticket with each of them selecting three of the six numbers. Cunningham kept their verbal agreement and split the $6 million jackpot when he learned that the ticket had won. This real life event was made into a movie “It Could Happen to You”

What was the Plot of the Film?

Charlie Lang, a police officer in New York City, is a friendly and helpful man who adores his home neighborhood of Queens and his profession. Unlike Charlie, his hairstylist wife Muriel is egotistical, materialistic, and often complains about their lives. She also works in the salon. 

Waitress Yvonne Biasi is bankrupt because her husband Eddie, whom she had not yet been able to afford to divorce, took her credit card and spent $12,000 without her permission.

They become friends when Yvonne serves Charlie in the restaurant where Yvonne works. Charlie assures Yvonne that he will either double the tip or give her half of his potential lottery winnings because he doesn’t have enough money to pay the waiter. 

The following day, he wins $4 million in the lottery, he paid out in 21 annual installments, and despite his wife’s objections, he maintains his word. He and Yvonne quickly become well-known.

Muriel meets the newly wealthy Jack Gross during a reception on a charter boat for lottery winners and other members of high society. She makes him blush, and they subsequently begin dating. 

As the media reports, Charlie and Yvonne spend a lot of time together and frequently give gifts to children or metro riders. Charlie’s continuous donations and general simplicity irritate Muriel, who then kicks him out of their flat and files for divorce.

The following evening, after her husband arrives and threatens to remain there until he receives $50,000 from her, Yvonne flees her apartment. Unintentionally, Charlie and Yvonne spend the night together after an encounter at the Plaza Hotel.

When Muriel and Charlie divorce, Muriel wants all the money that Charlie won for her. Yvonne feels guilty about costing Charlie all his money, so she runs out of court in tears and tries to keep away from him. But the cop, by now hopelessly in love with the waitress, finds her at the diner and tells her that the money means nothing to him. The citizens of New York City send “the cop and the waitress” thousands of letters with tips totaling about $600,000. They are gracious enough to feed a hungry and poor customer some soup while he eats at their special table.

Following Charlie and Muriel’s divorce, Muriel’s new husband, Jack Gross, steals all of her money and exposes himself as a scam artist. She later relocates to The Bronx to live with her mother and resumes her previous position as a manicurist. 

Eddie, Yvonne’s ex-husband, eventually works as a taxi driver. Charlie gladly rejoins the police, and Yvonne retakes control of the restaurant. Just before the final credits roll, Charlie and Yvonne get married and start their honeymoon by setting off from Central Park in a hot air balloon with the New York Post headline  Cop Weds Waitress. (Source: Roger Rebert)  

Image from Rogebert.com

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