Paramount+ Movie Review: Jerry and Marge Go Large

Some years ago there was a report on 60 Minutes about a retired couple in Michigan, Jerry and Marge Selbee, who due to a flaw in the mathematics of a local Michigan Lottery, Jerry was able to figure out that the odds, based on certain conditions, would allow them to win every time. When all of this played out for years, the Selbee’s were able to create their own investing corporation and get all of their friends in their small town in Michigan involved. They also made 28 million dollars, all of this legal because it was an error loophole in the lottery that they discovered on their own. It also turns out that the Lottery commission also did very well, due to the greatly increased number of tickets that were purchased and another group of people at Harvard University that also found the same loophole.

“Jerry and Marge Go Large”, stars Brian Cranston and Annette Benning, who are both very believable in their roles. True stories like this always make for the best movies, and I was impressed with all that Jerry and Marge had to go through to get this lottery idea off the ground. Very soon after they started buying lottery tickets in Michigan, this specific lottery ended, forcing them to drive 800 miles to Massachusetts many times to buy thousands of lottery tickets there, every 3 weeks. Then add the amount of work it took to go through thousands of printed lottery tickets and pick out the winners from the losers, so many times. This story is another example of a true story that would probably never make it as fiction, because nobody would probably believe it.

The acting is outstanding throughout this movie, realizing that both Cranston and Benning are two of the best actors available. I am surprised at the below average ratings for this movie of only 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. Once again, the critics are wrong and my rating is in the 80% range with a solid recommendation.